Thursday, September 29, 2016

The EU threatens Afghanistan

Fifteen years after the US invasion and "reconstruction", Afghanistan is still a basket-case. Wracked by a low-level civil war, thousands of people still die each year. The government is fragile, corrupt, and incapable of delivering even basic services. So naturally, the EU wants to deport refugees there, and is threatening to cut off foreign aid unless Afghanistan accepts:

When international donors and the Afghan government convene in Brussels next week, the EU secretly plans to threaten Afghanistan with a reduction in aid if the war-torn country does not accept at least 80,000 deported asylum seekers.

According to a leaked restricted memo (pdf), the EU will make some of its aid “migration sensitive”, even while acknowledging that security in Afghanistan is worsening.


The pressure on Afghanistan is part of a broader EU strategy of making aid to poor countries conditional on them accepting deported migrants.

The best known example is the €6bn deal (£5.2bn) offered to Turkey in exchange for taking back asylum seekers and improving border controls. Other targeted countries include Niger, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Lebanon and Libya. The EU has also considered similar deals with Eritrea and Sudan, the governments of which are accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

And its part of a broader pattern of increasing racism and hostility to refugees from the EU. You'd think the continent which provided the reason for the UN Refugee Convention would know better, but apparently 70 years is long enough for them to have forgotten.

Once upon a time the EU stood for human rights. Not anymore.