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Report: EU Funds Used To Dump Asylum Seekers In Sahara

THE European Union is grappling with criticism following a report by a journalism consortium that Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania are dumping irregular refugees in desert areas with the assistance of EU funds.

‘This is a difficult situation. It’s a fast-moving situation, and we will continue to work on it,’ said European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer on Tuesday, addressing the findings published by Lighthouse Reports, in collaboration with outlets including Le Monde and The Washington Post.


The investigation alleges, ‘Europe supports, finances, and is directly involved in clandestine operations in North African countries to dump tens of thousands of black people in the desert or remote areas each year to prevent them from coming to the EU.’ The report describes a ‘system of mass displacement’ facilitated by EU-provided money, vehicles, equipment, intelligence, and security forces.

According to the report, refugees and asylum seekers in Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia are ‘apprehended based on the colour of their skin, loaded onto buses, and driven to the middle of nowhere, often arid desert areas,’ without water or food. Others are reportedly taken to border areas where they are allegedly ‘sold by the authorities to human traffickers and gangs who torture them for ransom.’

The EU has struck cooperation deals with these countries, allocating $160 million to Tunisia, $228 million to Mauritania, and $678 million to Morocco to curb irregular migration to Europe. However, the Lighthouse Reports investigation, based on interviews with over 50 black migrants from sub-Saharan and West Africa, highlights systematic and racially motivated practices.

Despite denying the misuse of EU funds, the report cites two EU sources who admitted it is ‘impossible’ to fully account for how the Brussels funding is used.

Commission spokeswoman Ana Pisonero commented, ‘Sometimes the situation is challenging in our partner countries, but they remain sovereign states and continue to be in control of their national forces.’

The EU’s efforts to stem migration flows across the Mediterranean Sea are intertwined with a newly agreed overhaul of the bloc’s asylum rules, aimed at tightening EU borders and speeding up the deportation of unsuccessful asylum seekers.

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