Comment Situation in Libya: Europe is partly to blame

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Comment Location in Libya

In Libya, at least 40 people are killed by an air raid. The EU is partly responsible for the devastating situation in the civil war country.

People run over rubble after an air raid on a detention center in Tajoura, Libya

Who is responsible for the air raid on the Tadzhura detention center in Libya? Photo: Reuters / Ismail Zitouny

Who is to blame for the deaths of at least 40 African refugees who were bombarded at the Tadzhura detention center in Libya?

The immediate culprit is General Chalifa Haftar. The warlord in the east of the country whose air force has bombed the camp in the last three months attempt to conquer Tripoli. He must now again accept the accusation of having committed a war crime.

Or are Haftar's opponents to blame? The Refugee Detention Center is located next to a base of militia allied with the internationally recognized government in Tripoli. It is guarded and managed by them – so at least they had to expect that the camp and those detained there could easily become collateral damage or be misused as a protective shield.

And is not the Europeans also to blame? For them, the imprisoned in Libya refugees appear only in the calculus to make the Mediterranean route as impassable. The EU-backed Libyan Coast Guard is part of European policy to outsource border management to North Africa. She collects the refugees on the high seas and brings them to the camps. In combination with the criminalization of NGO rescue ships, this is a clear contribution to the deterioration of the situation in the overcrowded camps.

Since most of the camps are located in the vicinity of the embattled Tripoli, the interned refugees there now also in addition to the risk of becoming victims of the intra-Libyan conflict. People can expect neither protection from the Libyan warring parties nor from Europe, which supports the practice of intercepting the refugees and averts their blocking. And although the bloody air raid of last night clearly shows how real the danger is for the people sent back from the Mediterranean in Libya.

(TagToTranslate) Libyan War (t) Refugee Camp (t) EU Border Policy (t) Chalifa Haftar (t) Escape (t) Africa (t) Politics (t) Focus (t) taz (t) daily newspaper

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