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EU To Hunt Down & Destroy People Smugglers' Boat To End Migration

Rescued migrants walk along the quayside after disembarking from the Italian Navy vessel Bettica in the Sicilian harbour of Augusta, on April 22, 2015 (AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli)

By Kay Aviles
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The European Nations decided to hunt down and destroy human traffickers' boat in a bid to eradicate influx of migrants throughout the Mediterranean. E.U. authorised Federica Mogherini, its foreign policy chief, to organise diplomatic options that would enable E.U. militaries to launch attacks against trafficker’s boats.

Roberta Pinotti, defence minister of Italy, said both the civilian and military mission to seize and annihilate boats used by traffickers in transporting migrants will be successful. The minister explained they know the locations of the boats, the places where smugglers congregate to gather people who are leaving their lands.

The “surgical” mission of crushing boats of traffickers is said to be inspired by Operation Atalanta, which began operating in 2008 to combat the worsening problem posed by piracy and armed robbery off the high seas of Somalia. Mission Atalanta is extended until December 2016 and with operations located at the British Army’s Northwood Headquarters in Hertfordshire, while its European Union Naval Force is composed of ships from Spain, France, Netherlands and Italy. Other countries, such as Chile and Colombia share their efforts by providing for aircraft and boats in rotation.

E.U.’s latest move stemmed from an emergency summit held in Brussels on Thursday, April 23 to immediately address the growing concerns of migrants. This year alone, approximately 1,800 people died in trying to enter Europe from Libya. Also this year, a report from United Nations revealed there were 40,000 people who reached Europe from war-torn countries like Eritrea, Somali and Syria. Last year, the figure was overwhelming at 170,000 but the death toll was low.

Twenty-eight leaders from the association convened to come up with drastic measures, including destroying traffickers’ vessels and increasing funds in triple. The emergency summit was prompted from April 28’s Mediterranean Sea tragedy that left more or less 800 migrants dead floating off Libyan Coast and with only 28 survivors. The pilot of an ill-fated trawler, Tunisian Nourredine Mahjoub, alias Mohammed Ali Malek, is currently being detained in Italy following his arrest for charges, such as causing a shipwreck, multiple homicides and people smuggling.

Al Jazeera reports one factor that led to the increase in migration crises is the European policy to bar asylum seekers from entering their territory by erecting fences and closing doors. With no other choice left, asylum seekers resorted to desperate move such as giving in to smugglers.


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