To stop asylum seeker deaths in Sahara Desert
(ANSA) – Brussels, June 17 – The European Union will cooperate with countries in Africa’s Sahel region to stop asylum seeker deaths in the Sahara Desert, EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini said after meeting with the Sahel G5 group of nations Friday.
The Sahel lies between the Sahara Desert to the north, the Sudanian Savanna to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Red Sea to the east. The Sahel G5 is made up of Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. “There is a shared concern with the Sahel over security and the management of borders with Libya,” Mogherini said.
“For us, supporting cooperation with border countries to the south of Libya – such as Chad, which has experiences to share – is fundamental”.
Mogherini added “the Sahel is an area of both origin and transit of migration flows… (and) putting an end to the loss of life in both the Mediterranean and the desert is a responsibility and a humanitarian duty we all share”.
The EU is fielding a new “regionalized support” policy in the coming months, Mogherini said.
Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat said he hoped “Europe will become more active in its support” because the situation in the region is “extremely grave” given that Islamist terrorist groups have run rife in Burkina Faso and Mali, while Nigeria’s brutal Boko Haram fundamentalist militia has made incursions into Chad.
Also on Friday, Mogherini said she will preside over a meeting between Libya and Niger over management of Libya’s southern borders.
The EU foreign minister spoke after a group of five men, nine women, and twenty children died of thirst after they were abandoned by migrant traffickers in the Sahara Desert.