Category Archives: France

WikiLeaks 2008 US Cable: Background Regarding EU-Libya Framework Agreement Negotiations

This cable provides the views of the US Embassy in Tripoli regarding the state of the EU-Libya Framework Agreement negotiations in July 2008.  It was written by the US Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, John Godfrey.  The cable is titled: “THE EU-LIBYA FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT: VENI, VISAS, VETO.”  The cable states that Libya views the EU Framework Agreement as “a ‘reward’ for Libya’s decision in July 2007 to release six [Bulgarian and Palestinian] health workers accused of intentionally infecting over 400 Libyan children with HIV/AIDS.”  The cable describes threats to veto the framework agreement by individual EU member states in an effort to secure bi-lateral concessions from Libya and describes Libya’s claim that the “draft language initialed by [EU] Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner ‘commits’ the EU …  to funding a ‘surveillance mechanism’ along Libya’s land and sea borders to combat illegal migration.”

Most of the cable’s text follows:

“(C)  Summary.  The Government of Libya (GOL) remains keenly interested in pursuing a European Union-Libya Framework Agreement and views a more formalized partnership with the European Union (EU) as a “reward” for Libya’s decision in July 2007 to release six foreign health workers accused of intentionally infecting over 400 Libyan children with HIV/AIDS. Certain EU members, unsure that a more formal cooperation mechanism would be beneficial and sensing Libya’s eagerness, have used the threat of a veto to push their bilateral agendas, particularly with respect to commercial and human rights issues.  One year after Libya and the EU agreed in principle to pursue an agreement, a sizeable perception gap exists between the two sides on the merits of a more formalized partnership.  Despite occasional differences with the EU, most recently over the French-backed Union for the Mediterranean proposal, the GOL will continue to seek an EU framework agreement, in large part because of Muammar al-Qadhafi’s desire to be taken seriously by European leaders. End summary.


2.  (C)  Libya’s much-heralded decision in July 2007 to [release] six foreign health workers imprisoned since 1999 on charges of intentionally infecting children in Benghazi with the HIV/AIDS virus frames current discussions on an EU-Libya Framework Agreement.  Widely seen by Europeans in Libya as a successful alignment of European and Libyan interests, the denoument of the Bulgarian medics case – particularly their immediate pardon upon their arrival in Bulgaria – remains a lasting embarrassment for key elements of the Libyan regime.  The GOL, preoccupied with avoiding the public perception that it caved to foreign pressure to resolve the case, has trumpeted a putative EU framework agreement as a significant concession and a positive coup for Libyan diplomacy.  In an hours-long televised news conference just days after the medics left, Foreign Minister Abdulrahman Shalgham and Under Secretary for European Affairs Abdulati Obeidi boasted that a draft agreement, initialed by EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner during her July 2007 visit to Tripoli, would pave the way for easier access to Schengen visas for Libyan citizens and increased EU infrastructure investments in Libya. Ferrero-Waldner’s announcement in February 2008 that the EU Commission had submitted a recommendation to the Council of Ministers to grant a mandate to open negotiations with Libya stoked GOL hopes for rapid progress.

3.  (C)  French, Spanish, and German diplomats describe Libya’s primary objective in pursuing an EU framework agreement as reducing the mandatory waiting period for Schengen visas for Libyan nationals from the current 10 days to 48 hours.  …

4.  (C)  The July 2007 EU-Libya draft also lays out cooperation in the fields of human rights, health, and development.  U/S Obeidi informed French Ambassador Francois Gouyette in June 2008 that Libya agreed in principle to negotiate a human rights chapter within the framework agreement; however, Obeidi categorically refused to include discussions of individual human rights cases in the EU negotiations.  … In addition, the GOL has claimed that draft language initialed by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner “commits” the EU …  to funding a “surveillance mechanism” along Libya’s land and sea borders to combat illegal migration.


5.  (C)  Certain EU members, sensing Libya’s eagerness to move ahead, have threatened to block a framework agreement as a means by which to secure bilateral concessions, chiefly on commercial and human rights issues.  Italian Economic and Commercial Counselor Domenico Bellantone said that Italy is prepared to veto any framework agreement unless Libya ends a series of discriminatory commercial practices that target Italian firms operating in Libya.  …  French and Greek diplomats in Tripoli have hinted that they may also dangle a veto threat to resolve commercial disputes.  The Netherlands have approached certain EU members about a possible veto over Libya’s outstanding private debt to Dutch firms. Danish Consul-General George Wallen recently told EU Ambassadors in Tripoli that Denmark would veto a framework agreement with Libya unless the GOL lifts bans on Danish imports and Danish participation in infrastructure projects in Libya (prompted by a Danish magazine’s re-publishing in February 2008 of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad).  Denmark also wants the GOL to release Jamal al-Hajj, a Danish-Libyan dual-national arrested on February 16, 2007 in connection with plans to hold a peaceful political demonstration.  Maltese diplomats have said Malta is considering a veto over dissatisfaction with Libya’s maritime patrols in its designated Search and Rescue (SAR) area and continuing concerns over the lack of cooperation by the GOL in efforts to stem the flow of irregular migrants from Libya to Europe.

6.  (C) European diplomats believe that apart from help in combating illegal migration from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia through Libya to Europe, Europe has little to gain from a closer partnership with Tripoli.  In absence of a more formal agreement, some European countries have pursued bilateral cooperation that they privately assess as being more nimble and effective than broader cooperation under an EU framework agreement might be.  Italian diplomats characterized a recent donation of six vessels to Libya’s coast guard and an offer to train Libyan border security officials as Italy’s bilateral response to what they view as a lack of meaningful EU engagement on illegal migrant flows through Libya.  Greek DCM Ioannis Stamatekos lauded Italy’s move and said Greece may follow suit. Maltese Poloff Daniel Malina said that Malta, lacking resources to make a large equipment donation, hoped to keep the critical migration issue on the EU’s radar during Council deliberations over the Commission’s mandate to pursue the framework agreement.


7.  (C)  Twelve months have passed since Ferrero-Waldner initialed a draft memorandum on an EU-Libya framework agreement; however, a year of inaction does not appear to have dampened GOL perceptions that relations with Europe are on an up-swing. While senior European diplomats in Tripoli are quick to point out that formal negotiations with Libya on any kind of European-Libyan cooperation agreement have yet to even begin, many GOL officials speak of key Libyan negotiating positions, such as the 48-hour Schengen visa point, as if they’re already in place. …  A series of high-level European visits, most recently that of Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, have helped attenuate the GOL’s disappointment over what it perceives as slow progress on the framework agreement and on implementing commitments made during al-Qadhafi’s visits to Spain and France in December 2007.

8. (C) Comment: Libya’s interest in a closer partnership with Europe seems sincere; however, the GOL’s foreign policy, particularly at the senior levels, remains somewhat fickle. Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi’s visit to Madrid and Paris last December sparked a surge of pro-European rhetoric in Tripoli – in one instance, Qadhafi threatened to pull Libyan investment from sub-Saharan Africa to redirect to his new European friends.  More recently, though, al-Qadhafi orchestrated a meeting of Arab Maghreb Union leaders in Tripoli to publicly disparage Sarkozy’s Union for the Mediterannean proposal (reftel).  Characterizing the proposed union as “insulting”, he claimed it would undermine Arab and African member states’ commitments to the Arab League and African Union, and told former British Prime Minister Tony Blair he was concerned that the proposal represented an effort by southern European states to create a North African bulwark against illegal migration from sub-Saharan Africa and to “further legitimize” Israel.  Despite such disagreements, Qadhafi’s interest in being taken seriously, particularly by his “friends Nicholas (Sarkozy) and Silvio (Berlusconi)”, will continue to drive the GOL’s keen interest in finalizing a framework agreement with the EU.  End comment.   GODFREY”

Click here or here for full cable.


Filed under Denmark, European Union, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, Netherlands, News, Spain

Migreurop Report: European borders- Controls, detention and deportations

Migreurop has released its second report on Europe’s borders: “European borders- Controls, detention and deportations.”  Migreurop describes the report as a “[denunciation of] the « externalization » process of the European union migratory policy [which] shows how third countries are obliged, through the threat of the reconsideration of cooperation agreements and development aid, not only to readmit the migrants chased from Europe, but also to keep them on their own territory from travelling towards its doors.   From Calais area in France to the edge of Turkey and the Adriatic sea, from the surroundings of Gibraltar to the Sahel Saharan desert and the new member states of eastern Europe, a subcontracting of migratory control is carried out in series, sometimes very far away from the Union but also within its territory, especially when it deals with sending asylum seekers from country to country considered as unwanted. A large population of exiles, from both sides of the European borders, is subjected to arbitrary incarceration, wandering, and the constant humiliation of a hostile environment….”

Here is the Table of Contents:


  • What have migrants become 3

Ceuta, a gilded prison

  • A murderous border 7
  • A legal limbo 8
  • The situation of migrants in detention 8
  • The situation of migrants in the CETI (open centre) 9
  • Deportations and expulsions 12
  • Surviving without resources 14

Sahel-Saharan countries, Europe’s new sentries

  • I – European interference in inter-African migrations – the case of Mauritania 18
    • The “crisis of the cayucos” 18
    • 1. Cooperation instigated by Europe 18
    • 2. Mauritania tramples on its own principles and conforms 21
    • 3. Subcontracting repression and endangering foreigners 22
  • II – Bargaining between Libya and Europe: migrants as an exchange currency –the case of Niger 33
    • 1. A reciprocal exploitation 34
    • 2. An increasingly repressive control of borders 37
    • 3. Arrests and detention in Libyan territory 39
    • 4. A deadly expulsion policy 42
  • Conclusion: the real face of Kadhafi’s pan-Africanism 44

Poland, Romania: how to be good state members in the enlarged EU

  • I – At the new frontiers: the screening of migration 47
    • 1. Reducing the transit and deserving Schengen 48
    • 2. The border police, Frontex and cooperation with other European states 48
  • II – Reception and detention centres 52
    • 1. The detention of foreigners 52
    • 2. Reception centres: isolating asylum seekers 60
    • 3. “Dublinized” asylum seekers 61
  • III – Returns 63
  • IV – Intolerance towards migrants and refugees 66
  • V – Embryonic mobilizations 70

The Ionian and Adriatic seas: forced returns between Italy and Greece

  • A new migration route at Europe’s gates 73
  • I – Controlling and blocking 75
    • 1. Controls in Greece 75
    • 2. Controls at sea 77
    • 3. Controls in Italian ports 78
  • II – Turning back and readmission 82
    • 1. Arbitrary practices and violation of rights 82
    • 2. The port of Venice: collective returns 83
    • 3. The port of Ancona 86
    • 4. Forced return to Greece 86
  • III – Detention 88
    • 1. At the borders and at sea: areas beyond legality 88
    • 2. Detention in Italy 89
    • 3. Detention in Greece 90
  • IV – Some cruel situations 93
    • 1. In Greece 93
    • 2. In Italy 96
  • V – Mobilizations 97
    • 1. In Venice 97
    • 2. In Ancona 97
    • 3. In Greece 98

Ping-pong at the Greco-Turkish border

  • Selective expulsions and random readmissions 106
  • Reactions to a degrading and sometimes murderous situation 107
  • Assistance, support, resistance 108

Dismantling the Calais jungle: a deceptive operation

  • I – The declared objectives of the 22 September 2009 operation 112
  • II – The real objectives of dismantling the jungle 113
  • III – The Modus Operandi: brutality and trickery 115
  • IV – What next? 116

Migreurop network 121

Annexes 122

  • Knocking down walls and defending the right to migrate 122
  • UNHCR-Libya : the bid is rising, migrants pay the price 124
  • All for the closure of camps for migrants, in Europe and beyond 125
  • Italia and Libya: hand in hand 127
  • Roma people victims of the French government xenophobia 128

Click here for the report (EN), or  here (FR), or here (ES).

Click here for article (ES) in Periodismo Humano about the report.

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Filed under Aegean Sea, Eastern Atlantic, English Channel / La Manche, European Union, France, Frontex, Italy, Libya, Mauritania, Mediterranean, Morocco, Niger, Reports, Spain, Turkey, UNHCR

UNODC Publication: Smuggling of Migrants into, through and from North Africa

UNODC has issued a new publication entitled “Smuggling of Migrants into, through and from North Africa: A thematic review and annotated bibliography of recent publications.”  Most of the reviewed literature and data are from 2008 and earlier dates and therefore the publication does not include references to more recent events, e.g. the Italy-Libya migration agreement.  But it is a comprehensive and useful publication.  The 16 page Annotated Bibliography is a very good resource.

According to the UNODC web site, the publication “focuses primarily on the patterns and dynamics of migrant smuggling, as it concerns the North African region. Recognizing, however, that irregular migration and smuggling flows are transnational in nature, the review goes beyond North Africa, to also cover sub- Saharan African and European countries affected along the various smuggling routes.  The aim of the review is twofold: to describe major findings on smuggling of migrants; into, through and from North Africa, and to highlight the need for further research on specific issues that have not yet been studied.”

Table of Contents:

  • I. Introduction
  • II. Quantifying irregular migration and smuggling of migrants
  • III. Migrant smuggling routes
  • IV. Profiles and characteristics of smuggled migrants
  • V. Smuggler-migrant relationships
  • VI. Organizational structures of migrant-smuggling networks
  • VII. Modus operandi of migrant smuggling
  • VIII. Smuggling fees
  • IX. The human and social costs of smuggling
  • X. Summary of findings
  • XI. Annotated bibliography

Click here for the publication.

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Filed under Aegean Sea, Algeria, Analysis, Data / Stats, Eastern Atlantic, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Mediterranean, Morocco, Reports, Senegal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, UNODC

Spain and Senegal Renew Agreement Permitting Frontex to Operate From Dakar

Spain and Senegal have renewed a bi-lateral agreement permitting Frontex to operate from a base in Dakar for another year.

The Frontex mission in Senegal currently consists of two Spanish Guardia Civil patrol boats, a Spanish National Police helicopter, and a private airplane leased by the Spanish Defence Ministry.  One Frontex patrol boat also operates from Nuadibú, Mauritania.

Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said that France and Italy will soon be deploying additional assets and personnel to the Frontex mission in Senegal consisting of a ship and plane from Italy and a French security force team.  Rubalcaba stated that this new assistance demonstrates that “Spain is not alone” in the fight against the mafias responsible for the illegal boat arrivals to the coast this country. (“España no está sola” en la lucha contra las mafias responsables de las llegadas de embarcaciones irregulares a las costas de este país.)

Senegalese Interior Minister Ousmane Ngom, said that so far this year a total of 101 canoes from the coast of Senegal with 450 people aboard have been identified by the patrols. In 2006, the figures were 901 boats, with 35,490 irregular migrants.

Click here for article.  (ES)

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Filed under Data / Stats, Eastern Atlantic, France, Frontex, Italy, Mauritania, News, Senegal, Spain

UNHCR Research Paper: Les violences faites aux femmes pendant leur voyage clandestin: Algérie, France, Espagne, Maroc

Un nouveau rapport du HCR (UNHCR Research Paper) par Smaïn Laacher a été publié: “Les violences faites aux femmes  pendant leur voyage clandestin: Algérie, France, Espagne, Maroc.”


“L‟objet de notre mission a porté sur les violences faites aux femmes migrantes pendant leur voyage clandestin. Les femmes qui constituent la population de notre étude sont des femmes qui ont quitté illégalement leur pays et ont voyagé jusqu‟au Maroc, en Algérie, en Espagne, et en France. *** Les violences subies par les femmes pendant leur voyage clandestine … , dont la plus destructrice est la violence sexuelle, visent principalement des êtres sans défense, c‟est-à-dire des femmes qui n‟ont pu ou qui ne peuvent pas être défendues, précisément parce qu‟elles n‟existent pour personne, si ce n‟est que pour elles-mêmes et pour leurs agresseurs. ***”

Cliquez ici pour télécharger le rapport.

Cliquez ici pour télécharger le rapport.

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Spain Adds New SIVE Radar Stations

The Spanish Ministry of Interior is investing €3.8 million to expand the SIVE network in Valencia.  The two new SIVE radar stations are in addition to the four SIVE radar stations that operate on the Alicante coast in Cabo Roig, Santa Pola, Sierra Frost, and Denia.  According to ABC, the Ministry of Interior acknowledges that SIVE has numerous problems and that since its entry into operation last September in Alicante, SIVE has detected only four of the fifteen illegal boats discovered on the coast.

ABC also reports that despite the problems with SIVE on the Alicante coast, Frontex’s coming summer enforcement operation, Operation Indalo, will not extend to Alicante.  Operation Indalo, using patrol boats and helicopters from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Malta and Luxembourg, will be deployed along the Spanish coast from Granada to Murcia.

Click here (ES) for article.

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Filed under France, Frontex, Libya, Luxembourg, Malta, Mediterranean, News, Portugal, Spain

France Agrees to Accept 92 Refugees from Malta for Resettlement

French Ambassador Daniel Rondeau announced that France will shortly accept 92 additional refugees from Malta as part of the EU voluntary resettlement programme.  The Times of Malta reports that the Ambassador said “These people are prepared to die to live anywhere except their country; so many die in the Mediterranean Sea. It is really a tragedy and Malta was affected by it… we have to share this tragedy with the Maltese and with the immigrants. It’s our sea and it’s at our door, we cannot look the other way.”  France resettled 95 refugees from Malta last year.  Several other countries, including Germany and the UK have voluntarily accepted refugees from Malta.

Click here for article.

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Filed under European Union, France, General, Malta, Mediterranean, News

ECtHR Decision in Medvedyev and Others v France

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights issued its decision in Case of Medvedyev and Others v. France (Application no. 3394/03) on 29 March.  The applicants in the case were crew members on a Cambodian ship intercepted by the French Navy near Cape Verde.  The crew members were brought to France where they were convicted of drug smuggling.  Proceedings were then brought by the crew members before the ECtHR to challenge, among other things, the legality of their detention at sea.

An analysis of the decision by Douglas Guilfoyle, Lecturer in Law at University College London, is posted on EJIL: Talk! – “ECHR Rights at Sea: Medvedyev and others v. France.

From the Registrar’s Press Release:

“Article 1- The Court had established in its case-law that the responsibility of a State Party to the European Convention on Human Rights could arise in an area outside its national territory when as a consequence of military action it exercised effective control of that area, or in cases involving the activities of its diplomatic or consular agents abroad and on board aircraft and ships registered in, or flying the flag of, the State concerned. France had exercised full and exclusive control over the [ship] and its crew, at least de facto, from the time of its interception, in a continuous and uninterrupted manner. Besides the interception of the [ship] by the French Navy, its rerouting had been ordered by the French authorities, and the [ship’s] crew had remained under the control of the French military throughout the voyage to Brest. Accordingly, the applicants had been effectively within France’s jurisdiction for the purposes of Article 1.

Article 5 § 1 – The applicants had been under the control of the special military forces and deprived of their liberty throughout the voyage, as the ship’s course had been imposed by the French military. The Court therefore considered that their situation after the ship was boarded had amounted to a deprivation of liberty within the meaning of Article 5. The Court was fully aware of the need to combat international drug trafficking and could see why States were so firm in that regard. However, while noting the special nature of the maritime environment, it took the view that this could not justify the creation of an area outside the law. [***] Accordingly, the deprivation of liberty to which the applicants had been subjected between the boarding of their ship and its arrival in Brest had not been “lawful”, for lack of a legal basis of the requisite quality to satisfy the general principle of legal certainty. The Court therefore held by ten votes to seven that there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1.

Article 5 § 3 – The Court reiterated that Article 5 was in the first rank of the fundamental rights that protected the physical security of an individual, and that three strands in particular could be identified as running through the Court’s case-law: strict interpretation of the exceptions, the lawfulness of the detention and the promptness or speediness of the judicial controls, which must be automatic and must be carried out by a judicial officer offering the requisite guarantees of independence from the executive and the parties and with the power to order release after reviewing whether or not the detention was justified. While the Court had already noted that terrorist offences presented the authorities with special problems, that did not give them carte blanche to place suspects in police custody, free from effective control. The same applied to the fight against drug trafficking on the high seas. [***] At the time of its interception the [ship] had been off the coast of the Cape Verde islands, and therefore a long way from the French coast. There was nothing to indicate that it had taken any longer than necessary to escort it to France, particularly in view of the weather conditions and the poor state of repair of the vessel, which made it impossible for it to travel any faster. In view of these “wholly exceptional circumstances”, it had been materially impossible to bring the applicants before the investigating judges any sooner, bearing in mind that they had been brought before them eight or nine hours after their arrival, a period which was compatible with the requirements of Article 5 § 3. The Court therefore held by nine votes to eight that there had been no violation of Article 5 § 3.”

Click here for the EJIL: Talk! analysis by Douglas Guilfoyle.

Click here for the Press Release from the Registrar.

Click here (EN) or here (FR) for the Decision of the Grand Chamber.

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Filed under Eastern Atlantic, European Court of Human Rights, France, Judicial

8th Conference of the Foreign Ministers of the Western Mediterranean (“5+5”)

Foreign Ministers from the so-called “5+5” countries, France, Spain, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Tunisia, are meeting this week in Tunis to discuss a variety of issues including migration, which will be discussed at the plenary session on 16 April.

Click here (FR) and here (FR) for articles.

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Filed under Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Mediterranean, Morocco, News, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia

28th Franco-Italian Summit – Agreement on Joint Maritime Patrols

The 28th Franco-Italian Summit was held 9 April in Paris and resulted in the signing of approximately 25 agreements between France and Italy.  Among the agreements is a joint declaration on immigration which highlights the leading role played by France and Italy in controlling illegal immigration in the Mediterranean region.  The agreement provides for, among other things, joint French-Italian maritime patrols to monitor the countries’ territorial waters.  The agreement also stresses the need to strengthen the role of Frontex and calls for cooperation with both Libya and Turkey on immigration matters, including readmission of migrants.

Click here (EN), here (IT), here (IT), and here (FR) for articles.

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Filed under France, Frontex, Italy, Libya, Mediterranean, News, Turkey

CARIM Mediterranean Migration 2008-2009 Report

Noted recently in the Newsletter of the Real Instituto Elcano:

CARIM MEDITERRANEAN MIGRATION 2008-2009 REPORT, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI): European University Institute, October 2009, Edited by Philippe Fargues

MIGRATIONS MÉDITERRANÉENNES, RAPPORT 2008-2009, Octobre 2009, Sous la direction de Philippe Fargues

An excerpt:

“The period covered in this latest report, the years 2007 and 2008, is characterised by the accentuation of the migratory trends described in previous reports1: emigration from South and East Mediterranean countries (SEM) is continuing at a steady rate, while immigration to these countries is increasing, particularly in various irregular forms. [***]

Transit Migrants

Transit migrants in the SEM countries are people who cannot reach the destination of their choice (Europe) for lack of the required visa. They are waiting to find a way to reach this destination and over time their transit becomes stay. All the SEM countries, from Mauritania in the west to Turkey in the East, have, over the course of the last two decades, been transformed into transit countries for those travelling to Europe.

How many transit migrants are there in the SEM countries? The statistics in this area are even more inadequate than those for de facto refugees or irregular migrant workers. Aggregating figures provided by the police and various NGOs allows for a maximum estimation of 200,000 transit migrants in the region (Table 7).

Table 7: Transit migrants present in SEM countries around 2005

Country                        Estimated number

Algeria                           > 10,000

Turkey                           > 50,000

Libya                              > 10,000

Mauritania                   ± 30,000

Morocco                      > 10,000

Egypt, Israel, Jordan,

Lebanon, Palestine,

Syria, Tunisia              Not available

Total SEM                     < 200,000

Sources: CARIM, Irregular Migration Series

According to data collected by an Italian NGO on deaths and disappearances at sea (Table 8), it would seem that the number of clandestine sea crossings from SEM countries to Europe is not increasing (in fact it may even have decreased in 2008) but the routes are changing. The most ancient route across the Straits of Gibraltar is being used less and less and has been successively replaced by that from Mauritania, or even Senegal, to the Canary Islands (on which traffic peaked in 2006), from Turkey to the Greek Islands of the Dodecanese (on which traffic peaked in 2007) and lastly from Libya to Italy on which traffic peaked in 2008).

How many transit migrants are there who attempt (sometimes successfully) the crossing to Europe? And for how many does transit in the SEM countries become a more long period of stay? The rare surveys carried out in the Maghreb or in Turkey do not allow us to assess this. With the extension of their stay in countries initially seen as a place of transit, transit migrants soon become mixed up with the more significant mass of migrant workers in irregular situation. On the other hand, it is not always possible to distinguish them from refugees. The two groups exist side by side in what the HCR calls flows of “mixed migration” where transit migrants and refugees, sometimes from the same countries of provenance, resort to the same smugglers and find themselves in the same circumstances.

Table 8: Dead and missing persons on sea routes of irregular migration from SEM to Europe 2000 – 2008

Year\ Route      Sicily +             Gibraltar +

Sardinia           Ceuta & Melilla

2000                   0                           127

2001                     8                           157

2002                     236                     106

2003                     413                     108

2004                     206                    64

2005                     437                    146

2006                     302                    215

2007                     621                    142

2008                     702                    216

Total                     2,925                1,281

Year\ Route      Canary              Aegean Sea


2000                   16                         32

2001                     40                        102

2002                     39                        94

2003                     130                      81

2004                     232                      103

2005                     185                      98

2006                     1,035                  73

2007                     745                      257

2008                      136                      181

Total                       2,558                 1,021

Year                Total All Routes

2000                 175

2001                   307

2002                   475

2003                   732

2004                   605

2005                   866

2006                   1,625

2007                   1,765

2008                   1,235

Total                  7,785

Source :


Click here for link to full Report in both English and francais.

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Filed under Algeria, Data / Stats, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Mediterranean, Morocco, Portugal, Reports, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey

Table Ronde sur le Thème « Migrations/Rétention/Expulsions », 4 Mars, Bayonne


À l’initiative de la Faculture (Service Culturel de l’Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour-Bayonne) et en partenariat avec le laboratoire de recherche Identités Territoires, Expressions, Mobilités (ITEM), La Cimade et la Centrifugeuse, une table ronde sera organisée à Bayonne le 4 mars prochain sur le thème « Migrations/Rétention/Expulsions».

1° table ronde « Migrations »

Georges Courade – Politologue – Directeur de recherches à l’Institut de Recherches pour le Développement – Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) – Paris

Patrice Yengo – Anthropologue – Centre d’Etudes Africaines – EHESS – Paris – Université Marien Ngouabi (Brazzaville)

Modérateur :  Abel Kouvouama – Anthropologue – Identités Territoires Expressions Mobilités – Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour

2° table ronde « Rétention/Expulsions »

Intervenants :

Olivier Clochard – Géographe – Membre associé à MIGRINTER – MIGREUROP

Laurence Hardouin – Avocate – Présidente du groupe local de La Cimade – Bayonne

Modérateur : Patrice Yengo

Diffusion du Film-documentaire « Dem Walla Dee »

Ce documentaire, tourné à Dakar par des militants du Comité pour l’Annulation de la Dette du Tiers-Monde, pendant l’été 2007, donne la parole aux sénégalais, partis clandestinement en chaloupes à travers l’océan atlantique, pour rejoindre l’Europe qui verrouille ses frontières.

Cliquez ici pour le programme.

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Filed under Colloques / Conferences, France, Senegal

“Raïs Hamidou 10” – Exercice algéro-français de surveillance et de sécurité maritime

Du portail des sous marins:   “Dans le cadre général du renforcement de la coopération bilatérale entre l’Algérie et la France, l’exercice baptisé “Raïs Hamidou 10” se déroulera du 2 au 19 mars 2010 en Méditerranée Occidentale, entre l’Algérie et la France.”

“Cet exercice s’inscrit dans le cadre général de la dynamique de coopération et d’amitié entre les deux pays (accord de coopération dans le domaine de la défense signé le 21 juin 2008).  …  Il vise à permettre le développement et l’interopérabilité entre les unités et le partage des expériences et des connaissances, favorisant ainsi l’aptitude des deux parties à opérer conjointement et à répondre, le cas échéant à une situation de crise (pollution, sinistre en mer, trafic illicite etc.) ….”

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Du site officel de la Préfecture maritime de la Méditerranée:

Complément d’information : Qui est le Raïs Hamidou ?  Raïs Hamidou Ben Ali naquit vers 1770 à Alger. Il fut le dernier des grands chefs de la marine algérienne de la période ottomane, et, à ce titre, il joua un rôle décisif dans la défense de la ville d’Alger. Les Européens ont reconnu dans leurs écrits l’intelligence peu commune et l’extrême habileté du Raïs.

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Besson et Frattini: renforcement des frontières “urgent”

“La France et l’Italie veulent un renforcement ‘urgent’ des frontières extérieures de l’UE afin de lutter contre les filières d’immigration clandestine…. Paris et Rome veulent un ‘développement des capacités opérationnelles de … Frontex en vue de mettre en place la police européenne aux frontières prévue par le Pacte européen sur l’immigration et l’asile’ et une ‘généralisation des accords de coopération opérationnelle et de réadmission avec les principaux Etats tiers d’origine et de transit’.”

“Les ministres de l’UE en charge de l’immigration doivent tenir le 25 février à Bruxelles une réunion extraordinaire convoquée par Eric Besson après la découverte de 123 Kurdes sur une plage corse en janvier.”

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Filed under European Union, France, Frontex, Italy, Mediterranean, News

Le Temps d’Algérie: Les maffias de l’immigration clandestine en Afrique de l’ouest se tournent vers le narcotrafic

“Les ministres de l’Intérieur des pays d’Afrique occidentale se réunissent aujourd’hui [14 février] à Dakar avec leurs homologues de France et d’Espagne pour examiner la délicate question de l’ouverture, dans cette région située dans le prolongement direct du Sahel, d’une «nouvelle route» spécialisée dans le narcotrafic. … Cette région était jusque-là considérée, exclusivement, comme la «route» de l’immigration clandestine vers l’Europe. … Près de 40 000 Subsahariens ont pu atteindre les côtes espagnoles. Mais le dispositif mis en place par l’Espagne dès 2007, avec le concours les unités du Frontex …a sensiblement découragé ce phénomène. Cette «route» a progressivement cessé d’être rentable pour ces maffias de l’immigration clandestine en Afrique de l’Ouest. … Les maffias de l’immigration clandestine auraient alors choisi de se tourner vers une activité plus risquée mais beaucoup plus rentable, le narcotrafic.”

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Cliquez ici pour un autre article: “Lutte contre la drogue en Afrique de l’ouest : La France met sa marine à la disposition de la sous-région.”

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