August 8, 2022
Security personnel recover bodies of migrants in the area between Kufra city and Chadian border with Libya June 28, 2022. Courtesy of Kufra ambulance service head Ibrahim Belhasan /Handout via REUTERS

Deadly Migration

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20 migrants perish in the Sahara

“Irregular mass migration, a hybrid threat” NATO says in Strategic Concept

The Kufra ambulance service of Libya announced on Wednesday that the bodies of 20 migrants who got lost in the Libyan desert near Chad have been found. Pictures of the migrants lying around a black pick up truck on the sand were shown to reporters.

A truck driver travelling through the desert discovered the bodies and raised the alarm. A recovery team from Kufra recovered the bodies Tuesday about 320km southwest of Kufra and 120 km from the border with Chad.

According to reports the human traffickers got lost two weeks ago and together with their human cargo perished in the desert.

“The driver got lost … and we believe the group died in the desert about 14 days ago since the last call on a mobile phone there was on June 13,” Kufra ambulance chief Ibrahim Belhasan said by phone.

“Two of the bodies were Libyans and the others were believed to be migrants from Chad crossing illegally into Libya.” Belhassan added.

The past few days have been deadly for migration. Last Friday more than 20 migrants were crushed to death and many others injured when a crowd of about 2,000 people tried to force their way into the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla.

A resultant clash with Spanish and Morocco security forces led to many injuries. On Monday bodies of 51 migrants were discovered outside the US city of San Antonio. Texas police officials say they died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer without air conditioning in the sweltering Texas heat.

On Wednesday at the NATO summit in Madrid, the alliance labelled irregular mass migration as “hybrid threats” that hostile powers can use to undermine the stability of NATO countries, the alliance said in its new Strategic Concept.

“Conflict, fragility and instability in Africa and the Middle East directly affect our security and the security of our partners, this situation provides fertile ground for the proliferation of non-state armed groups, including terrorist organisations. It also enables destabilising and coercive interference by strategic competitors.” the document said.

The Belarus and Polish border standoff last year and the deadly Spanish clash with migrants were mentioned and the NATO southern flank is considered its achilles heel.

Source Reuters/NATO

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