The bodies have yet to be counted; from the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean only 28 have so far been saved. There may have been 700 on board. The scale of the loss is extraordinary, but the manner of it entirely ordinary. These deaths are the result of politics; not complicated coups in faraway places, but bland decisions in beige EU meeting rooms resulting in the decision to halt search and rescue operations. In a statement to the House of Lords last October, the Foreign Office minister Lady Anelay justified the move and Britain’s support for it thus: “The government believes there is an unintended ‘pull factor’, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths”.
A vast human tragedy is unfolding along the shores of the Mediterranean, its horrors largely ignored by Britain’s inward-looking, election-fixated politicians and an insouciant, slow-to-react European Union. Dozens of orphaned and malnourished children daily cry out for help; injured victims are thrown to sharks or forced overboard by religious fanatics; and hundreds die needlessly in this ruthless, expanding traffic in human suffering.
London 25 March 2015
Prof. Gaim Kibreab
London South Bank University
The UK delegation from the Foreign and Common Wealth Office and the Home Office visited Asmara on 9-11 December 2014. In March 2015, the Home Office issued two documents, namely, Country Information and Guidance Eritrea: National (incl. Military) Service and Country Information and Guidance Eritrea: Illegal Exit. This Note draws attention to the serious flaws contained in the Guidelines and the source material used to reach the conclusions.
(London 04-02-2015) Over a hundred UK based Eritreans participated in giving evidence and insight into the human rights violations taking place in Eritrea to the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in Eritrea, during their investigative visit to the UK from the 23rd to the 31st of January.