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EU admits no African country has agreed to host migration centre

Thursday 21/June/2018 - 08:30 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
The European Union’s most senior migration official has admitted that no north African country has yet agreed to host migrant screening centres to process refugee claims، as the Guar4dian said.
Details of an EU plan to prevent migrants drowning at sea emerged on Thursday after Italy criticised the agenda of an emergency summit for not offering enough to help it cope with arrivals.
Dimitris Avramopoulos، the European commissioner for migration، said the EU wanted to “intensify cooperation” with Algeria، Egypt، Libya، Tunisia، Niger and Morocco، as he announced the intention to create a “regional disembarkation scheme”.
So far no African country had agreed to host screening centres، he confirmed. “It has to be discussed with these countries، he said. “An official proposal has not been put on the table.”
The idea for offshore migrant processing centres remains sketchy، with numerous political، practical and legal questions unanswered. It remains unclear، for example، whether migrants on a rescue ship in European waters could be returned to a north African country.
Tahar Cherif، the Tunisian ambassador to the EU said: “The proposal was put to the head of our government a few months ago during a visit to Germany، it was also asked by Italy، and the answer is clear: no!
“We have neither the capacity nor the means to organise these detention centres. We are already suffering a lot from what is happening in Libya، which has been the effect of European action.”
He said his country was facing enough problems with unemployment، without wishing to add to them while Niger said its existing centres taking migrants out of detention camps in Libya are already full.
The idea for the centres was thrown into the mix of EU migration policy before a series of crucial summits on migration in the next week.
About 10 EU leaders will aimed at preventing the collapse of the German coalition government.
But the Italian government has been angered by draft conclusions for the summit، which stress the need to counter “secondary movements” – an issue that affects Germany.
Under EU rules، a member state usually has responsibility for asylum seekers who have arrived in its territory، a regulation that has put frontline states Italy and Greece under huge pressure.
But claimants often move to a second EU state، seeking a faster decision or to unite with family members.

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