MSF responds to Frontex accusations

(BRUSSELS2) NGOs, in particular Médecins sans Frontières, reacted strongly to the questioning by certain European agencies of their action in the Mediterranean. This is an article from Financial Times, which set fire to the powder, based on the report of the European corps of border guards.

A traffic facilitator

The Frontex agency believes that NGOs give traffickers " clear indications before departure concerning the direction to take [to traffickers] to find NGO boats ". An accusation also made by Rear Admiral Credendino, the commander of the maritime operation in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR Med). In its latest report — which B2 carefully read and deciphered (read: Mediterranean. Migrant flows reverse, smugglers adapt) — he also accuses them of brushing against the limits of Libyan territorial waters and of facilitating trafficking.

The use of the press criticized by NGOs

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), on the day of the publication of the article in the British newspaper, asked for a " immediate clarification from FRONTEX “, regretting that this information” have been shared with the press and not with the organizations themselves ". " These allegations are very serious and extremely damaging says Jens Pagotto, who leads MSF's search and rescue operations.

The problem is the EU

For MSF, it is " the failure of the European Union and its border control agency to reduce the number of deaths at sea” who have “forced humanitarian organizations to intervene” to avoid further tragedies. " Humanitarian action is not the cause of the crisis but a response to it. If NGOs come home, the death toll at sea will only increase. » 

The EU must open legal channels

If the smugglers' business model exists " this is, in part, because the European Union offers no safe and legal alternative to refugees and migrants seeking safety in Europe Pagotto insists. " Tackling this would be the best way to stop unnecessary deaths at sea and eliminate smuggling rings. »

(Leonor Hubaut)

Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.

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