Although it`s good to see that the EU foreign ministers have at last "launched a naval operation aimed at stopping human-traffickers" transporting desperate people from Libya to Europe, the fact that the operation has no UN endorsement, means that it is destined to fail (Morning Star,23/06/15). Not only is it too late, it will focus on gathering and pooling "information" about the gangs and networks organising the "migration".
Why wasn`t this done months ago? The UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon has even talked about "encouraging a policy of return", presumably by aid budgets being used to encourage long-term economic development.
This arrogant Tory government, and presumably all the members of the EU, are still clinging to the ridiculous notion that it is the "pull factor" which is responsible for the crisis, and that encouragement is all that is required to send the people back. Surely there is someone in government who read the report on Eritrea by the UN Human Rights council, which concluded that the Afwerki regime was committing such "gross human-rights violations" that they constituted "crimes against humanity"? Is it surprising, then, that hundreds of thousands of Eritreans are resorting to using these deadly escape routes? How disgraceful it is that the international conscience is only pricked when their suffering happens to occur in European waters!
Instead of devoting so much time and energy on scoring political points by the imposition of yet more austerity on a bankrupt Greece, European politicians, backed by the UN and the IMF, would be better advised to focus on an examination of the "push factors", and to stop kidding themselves. The idea of sending people back to countries where executions and torture are rife should never be on the table; "information gathering" on people-traffickers is yet another example of governments "kicking the can down the road"! By all means "dismantle the business model" of the traffickers, but don`t pretend to be solving the real problem!