The Cambridge Dictionary defines “taking the lid off” as: “to cause something bad that was previously kept secret to be known by the public” (Cambridge Dictionary, Cambridge University Press). A writer like Thomas L. Friedman in the New York times should know this perfectly well, as he used this term in his column ‘ Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ published on the 7th August 2018. This is the reason for why I writing this. Because of two paragraphs that needs to be addressed, I will first let his words speak, before showing what the EU says about the matter. As a European, the American writer doesn’t make sense.
The key part was:
“Toppling Qaddafi without building a new order may go down as the single dumbest action the NATO alliance ever took. It took the lid off Africa, leading to some 600,000 asylum seekers and illegal migrants flocking to Italy’s shores in recent years, with 300,000 staying there and the rest filtering into other E.U. countries. This has created wrangles within the bloc over who should absorb how many migrants and has spawned nationalist-populist backlashes in almost every E.U. country” (Thomas L. Friedman – ‘Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ 07.08.2018 link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/opinion/can-i-ruin-your-dinner-party.html).
I don’t know in which world Friedman is residing, but the words of the EU, Zelesa and MPC are clearly not opening any jars of uncertainty. Yes, there been a growing amount of illegal and non-asylum seekers through the United Nations or Bilateral Organizations, which they have come from War-Zones as in the past. As the EU Member States takes their quota of refugees and asylum-seekers as a global task of helping people in need, as that cannot happen where they are or they are living in temporary shelters awaiting hopefully a helpful nation to become their guardian. However, no else is saying it is NATO fault or even the fall Qaddafi, which is the reason for crossing across the Mediterranean sea. There is more porous borders as well as the conflict in the Sahel Region that has continued. These are all reasons for the transport of refugees from the rest of the Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there was never a lid to be taken of the continent.
The EU Science Hub states:
“Between 2008 and 2016, the total annual number of African migrants remained stable. However, legal immigration was declining in this period, while the number of irregular arrivals and asylum claims of Africans increased. Irregular arrivals of Africans via the Mediterranean started to decline again in 2017.In Europe, the majority of African immigrants come from North Africa, with most people making the move to reunite with family members already settled in a European country” (EU Science Hub – ‘New perspectives on African migration’ 01.07.2018 link: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-perspectives-african-migration).
EU Project opened more nations for Immigration:
“Clearly, African immigration to Europe was marked by increasing diversification both in the number of countries sending and receiving the immigrants. Particularly remarkable was the emergence of the southern European countries, principally Italy, Portugal, and Spain, themselves longstanding emigration countries, as immigration countries. This was as much a product of the improving economic fortunes in these countries and their integration into the prosperity and political sphere of Western Europe as it was of mounting immigration pressures on their borders to the east and the south. Enclosed in a new European transnational space, new identities of ethnicity and citizenship began to emerge that entailed creating both symbolic and material borders to keep away or distinguish the immigrants. The Europeanization of these countries and the rebordering of the Mediterranean that it implied required the separation and stigmatization ofimmigrants from the global South (Suarez-Navaz, 1997; Royo, 2005)” (Paul Tiyambe Zeleza – ‘Africa ‘s Contemporary Global Migrations: Patterns, Perils, and Possibilities’ P: 39, June 2010).
Migration Profile – Libya:
“Despite Libya being, first and foremost, a country of immigration, the deterioration of immigrants’ conditions in the country has also made it an important country for transit migration and particularly for the many migrants trying to reach Malta and the Italian Isle of Lampedusa As to emigration patterns, Libya has never recorded significant outward migration flows. However, during the 2011 unrest, there was an upsurge of Libyan nationals fleeing the country. According, though, to the authorities in neighbouring countries, the great majority are believed to already have returned to Libya” (…) “To conclude, two considerations can be made about the impact of the Libyan crisis on international migration movements. On the one hand, Sub Saharan nationals were without any doubt the people most at risk, both in Libya and at the borders (where repatriation activities led to an impasse). On the other hand, the capacity of neighbouring African countries to manage the crisis in terms of the reception of migrants was remarkable. (IOM, 2012)” (Migration Policy Center – ‘MPC – MIGRATION PROFILE Libya, June 2013).
As we can really see, is that what Friedman is saying is wrong. The African Migration to Europe has lasted long. That is not new and has usually followed to the previous Colonizers of the ones migrating. However, with the change of he European Union, has changed that pattern, but not opened up something. The Libyan Crisis and fall of Qaddafi have had is effect. However, the results by the EU and the IOM are stating not as bad as previously stated. Also that the “illegal” are rising, but less of the direct asylum-seekers, meaning their means and ways has changed, but the end-game are more of the same. They are still fleeing from crisis and wars in Sub-Saharan Africa, but they doing so by the shores of Northern Africa crossing into EU Countries.
So, the taking the lid off by invading and deposing Qaddafi seems like far-fetched. That is a lie, also a relic of the past, as Friedman sounds like they opened a box with a box-opener. This was simply done with getting rid of one dictator. He seems like that is the reason for the whole transit in Libya, not the whole conflict within the continent and neither the true nature of it all. As people are doing whatever they can to get shelter and hope for the future, because the International Community isn’t reacting or caring about the oppression in their nations. They are forgotten and know they will not get help, as the Western Powers are boasting these leaders who oppress and then people want to flee from these shores.
No lid was taken, it was never a lid there to begin with? Are there a lid that was opened so that United States could have space for all the slaves in the past? Or is there a lid taken of the brain of Trump? We all, the rest of the world really want to know.
Enough of this nonsense. Peace.
Where did humanity go in our time? When did we cease to care about other people’s struggle and their causes? When did that cease to matter? Because in our time, the rich and wealthy are securing more and more resources, while the poor is having no ways to get out of it. The states are closing their borders, stricter rules for refugees and asylum-seekers. While in dictatorships, the harassments and the internally displaced numbers are rising. The rich countries are investing in warfare, but not taking charge for the fleeing refugees from the crisis. They are trying to pay the states in regions and close the borders in migration routes. There is no heart, just cash-money. The heart has left, and the ignorance is rising.
The deaths of civil wars, the displacements of draconian laws and of dictators doesn’t matter. The lack of dialogue and of political freedoms, that doesn’t matter either. The lack of compassion and of political will change is also okay. As long as the troubles from afar doesn’t touch us. However, we will seal of the borders and make sure the innocent victims of internal disputes and skirmishes hopefully can cross the border to the closest country and not seek refugees in Europe or in the United States. Because, we cannot mange to show some humanity and heart.
The blood in your veins should boil, but for most. We don’t give a damn, they don’t give a fig. If their villages are burned to the ground by the military. If the Police is detaining people without any justification. If the state is securing the demise and death on fake imports. All of that doesn’t matter, as long as it doesn’t happen where we are.
This is the despicable. This is the reality. Our time, our reality, what our representatives put forward and make sure to build big invisible walls and mechanisms to close borders. To make it less achievable and costly to cross. Even more dangerous, as the perils of death and destruction at home isn’t better. But to leave can also cost your life, either by crook or by the book. Secondly, there will be nobody to even care to look.
This should be disgusting. Knowing that people are dying fleeing civil-wars and dictatorship, than when they are entering our safe havens; there is no one caring for their ills and troubles. They will just shrug it off like dirt on their shoulders and move on. There is lack of solidarity and heart. I hope in my time, that the Republic’s and Nation’s that close their borders never start warfare with themselves. As the ones who saw what we did. Might also give us no helping hand. They might say, we saw what your parents did to us. Why should we save the kids to such despicable people? Why do you deserve safe haven, when you couldn’t help our kind in need?
That is what I worry about, because we never know when the tide change, when society start to deteriorate or self-destruct. That is within us and we never know. We could be next, right now it is our brothers from afar, next time it could our closest neighbor or even ourselves. Than, they will remember our cold hearts and lack of compassion in the times of need. Peace.
The European Council in the draft note before the next general meeting. Is establishing mechanisms, which would ensure that less tries to cross the oceans to get to safe harbour in Europe. This by both giving financial aid possibly and make the Border States have settlements of asylum-seekers and whatnot.
“The European Council will also strengthen EU external instruments on migration in the context of the negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, in particular so as to ensure effective cooperation with countries of origin and transit. To this end, the external components of the internal, border, asylum and migration funds should include a dedicated external migration management window specifically geared towards stemming irregular migration flows” (Council of the European Union – European Council meeting (28 June 2018) – Draft conclusions -8147/18, 19.06.2018).
This is really nasty stuff, that the European Union continues to purge like this and with these methods. Actually, making sure the refugees and asylum-seekers are stationed in Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and everything else bordering at sea towards Europe. There is lack of heart and with intent of shattering people’s dreams of possible refuge. That is what this is.
They are planning external migration management to stop the flow of people crossing into their borders. That means an invisible wall with functions and mechanisms stopping the ones trying to seek refuge. Just think about that, the sovereign states on the borders are bushwhacked by the EU and also most likely pushed by the funds their way as a bargain. Both parties with no consideration of the implications on the lives on the ones fleeing war-zones and civil-wars, famine or any sort of disaster that are creating all the reasons for fleeing on humanitarian grounds. Still, the EU will use these states as buffers and shield itself from people coming.
We can all see with this, the precious and deep scars, the evidence of control and also extending boundaries, just so, the ones in need cannot cross into refuge. They cannot get shelter or hope for the future, but live in oblivion, outcast in their own homeland and not welcome at the destination either. It is just a sad story of our time and the lack of compassion within the leadership of our representatives as well. Peace.
After reading a Forbes article on Illicit Financial Funds leaving Ethiopia, as they question the need for and the use of donor aid to Ethiopia. I had to read the reports that it partly was based and make my own assumptions. The difference is that I want to focus on the East African Nations and their Illicit Financial Funds that leaves the States. So that the values and the amounts show’s lack of governance and regulation of finance gives way for the African governments and corporations to get away with transferring funds without legal bounds. This is a way of misusing funds and also money laundering through lacking revenue service and authorities to keep up the upkeep of the states. Take a look!
“IFFs are illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another. GFI classifies such flows as illicit if the funds crossing borders are illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilized. If the flow breaks a law at any point, it is illicit” (GFI, 2015).
“African governments have a political interest in IFFs because these flows impact their national development aspirations and encroach on state structures. They therefore have law enforcement and regulatory agencies whose duties include preventing IFFs. Among these are the police, financial intelligence units and anti-corruption agencies. Governments also have customs and revenue services and other agencies whose purposes are thwarted or hindered by IFFs” (IFF, P: 35, 2016).
“The widespread occurrence of IFFs in Africa also points to a governance problem in the sense of weak institutions and inadequate regulatory environments. IFFs accordingly contribute to undermining state capacity. To achieve their purposes, the people and corporations behind IFFs often compromise state officials and institutions. Left unchecked, these activities lead to entrenched impunity and the institutionalization of corruption” (IFF, P: 51, 2016)
“Most African countries do not have enough highly trained lawyers, accountants and tax experts to carry out the oversight functions to prevent or punish perpetrators of illicit financial outflows. The few that exist are often overworked and unable to prepare sufficiently to take on top-class representing large corporations” (IFF, P: 72, 2016).
Illicit Financial Funds ranking in the years of 2004 – 2013:
*(in millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)
* Global Financial Integrity December Report 2015
Total IFFs in the years of 2004 – 2013 (GER+HMN)
*(in millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)
* Global Financial Integrity December Report 2015
* “Trade misinvoicing (GER) dominates measurable illicit outflows, averaging 83.4 percent of total illicit outflows during the years 2004 to 2013. However, there has been a noticeable growth in the hot money narrow (HMN) estimate of balance of payment leakages over those years as well. Though initially only accounting for 6.9 percent of illicit outflows in 2004, HMN rose to 19.4 percent of illicit flows by 2013” (GFI, P: 10, 2015).
If you look at the charts there are some monies that is missing and gone away on all sorts of schemes and tax exemptions, all sort of added invoicing or other types of financial instruments to make sure the monies doesn’t end where they are supposed to be. The East African states have misused giant amount of funds.
Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda are topping the list. What is weird for me and the report it is not specifying the Sudan as the Khartoum republic or putting South Sudan alone! So the report and the values put on South Sudan, which was independent in 2011, there do not know what of part of Sudan who has illicit funds. Still, the values and the amount of million dollars Illicit Financial Funds (IFFs) from Ethiopia for instance. You can wonder how much of the government budget that is eaten by this sort of financial mismanagement and misuse of public funds. The reserves and state coffers have to be hit when it is these amounts of dollars that are lost. Uganda have also gotten rid of giant amount of funds, these is 10 higher than the revelation during the Oil Probe with the 2.4 Trillion shillings, which is about $640-700m dollars. That we’re oil revenue that has not been remitted to the state, just these values is ten-times of what was revealed in the Ugandan courts. So there is other revenue that the State House, Bank of Uganda and Uganda Revenue Authority not have complied to or have registered as there is a loss of $7,149 million dollars.
These is just two financial instruments as the HMN and the GER that is explained under the table, the other ways of misusing funds, I haven’t even covered. This is just how much that is miss-invoicing and Hot Money Narrow, the others can be shown at another time. The numbers shown here alone show the extent of misuse of funds in a decade. That is the public loss and the state coffers that been looted by the regime and their lack of will of following and regulating the financial markets. Therefore, the state and institutions does not have the will or capacity to follow the money. This shouldn’t be evident, but it is and not a good look. Peace.
Illicit Financial Flows iff – ‘Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa’
Global Financial Integrity – ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013’ (December 2015)