NATO to Launch Mediterranean Military Operation Sea Guardian
NATO will launch the maritime security operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean in a joint effort with the E.U. to curb migrant flows, announced Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at a Warsaw summit on Saturday.
“It will have a broad scope, including situation awareness, counterterrorism and capacity building. We intend to work closely with the European Union’s Operation Sophia in the central Mediterranean,” said Stoltenberg, according to the E.U. Observer.
The Washington Post reported that the maritime patrols could include both sea and air deployments, as suggested by General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is both NATO’s top military commander and the chief of the U.S. European Command.
Some E.U. officials are concerned that NATO’s mission is a duplication of their own naval operation, already under way in the central Mediterranean.
Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, condemned the new operation. “NATO’s involvement in migration control signals a dangerous shift toward militarization of a humanitarian crisis,” said the organization’s Judith Sunderland.
Thousands Flee Violence in Central African Republic
More than 6,000 people from the Central African Republic (CAR) have fled to Chad and Cameroon following renewed violence in their country, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) reported on Friday.
“The exodus began on June 12 when clashes erupted between in and around the northwest town of Ngaoundaye, Ouham Pendé region,” said UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming at a press briefing in Geneva.
Refugees had witnessed “killings, kidnappings, looting and the torching of their homes,” she added.
Renewed fighting in CAR has already displaced 25,000–30,000 people this year, including internally displaced persons and those who have fled to Chad and Cameroon.
Before the recent exodus, the UNHCR and partners were already providing protection and assistance to over 67,000 CAR refugees in Chad and around 260,000 in Cameroon. There are also 415,000 internally displaced people within CAR.
30,000 Refugees Find Employment in Germany
Some 30,000 refugees have entered the workforce in Germany since spring 2015, though the government is struggling to help many more find employment.
At least a quarter of refugees were employed on temporary contracts, with many having menial jobs in cleaning and security.
“Refugees mostly go into sectors where there is a lack of suitable applicants,” Federal Employment Agency chief Frank-Jürgen Weise told a German newspaper on Monday.
Despite the promising figures, Weise also confirmed “on the other hand, we currently have, in terms of asylum seekers, 130,000 people who are unemployed and on benefits.”
The country’s parliament passed a new law last week that would restrict benefits for migrants who do not make progress integrating into German society.
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