Refugee crisis - Appeasement seems unlikely

TWO connected events of recent days represent a huge moral challenge to the West and Africa’s functioning states, especially its oil-rich Arab countries. 

Refugee crisis - Appeasement seems unlikely

Something around 700 people drowned in the latest Mediterranean tragedy endured by the huddled masses trying to escape poverty and conflict in Africa.

This brings the death toll amongst refugees trying to reach Europe to something around 1,500 this year.

Hundreds of miles away in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, where Islamic State barbarians have strengthened their grip on the region, up to 80,000 people have fled their homes.

At least 2.7m Iraqis have been displaced since January 2014, including 400,000 from Anbar. Some will eventually try to cross from Libya to Italy.

Unlike the US or Israel, Europe cannot — nor should it — build a wall along its borders to leave tens of thousands to a grim fate. However, Europe cannot solve this escalating crisis alone.

It is time for a reponse involving the US, the Gulf’s oil economies, Africa’s functioning democracies, the European Union, and any other state that wishes to confront the reality of this situation.

This is a profound challenge for diplomatic and humanitarian agencies, one made all the greater because it involves forces determined to destroy our way of life and the social constructs we cherish. Appeasement hardly seems an option, no matter how fervently we might wish it might be.

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