Refugee crises exist in Africa as well as Syria and, increasingly, Iraq. Germany seems to be realizing it can’t just take them all in. What’s the alternative?
CounterJihad, November 14, 2016:
The Washington Post recently hosted a furious essay on Africa’s refugee crisis, which is being ignored in favor of worries about Europe’s:
We don’t often hear about these particular refugees or asylum-seekers, do we? They are, to borrow a term from British historian Mark Curtis, “unpeople,” the poor, nonwhite residents of the developing world who tend to be ignored by the Western media.
Where is the rolling coverage of Kenya’s Dadaab camp, for example? Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world, but in a move that could displace as many as 300,000 people, Kenyan authorities are in the process of closing it down. It puts the recent British media frenzy over the so-called “Jungle” camp in Calais, France, with its 10,000 migrants, into some perspective, doesn’t it?
The inconvenient truth is that while the U.K. Parliament votes to deny entry to 3,000 displaced children from Syria and the Hungarian prime minister vows to build a new and “more massive” border fence to keep out asylum-seekers, refugees in Africa are fleeing from one war-torn region to the next. From South Sudan to Darfur. Yes, to Darfur. From the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Central African Republic, and from DRC back to CAR. From Nigeria to Chad.
Germany under Angela Merkel has been at the forefront of pressuring European governments to accept more refugees, setting the example by directing Germany to flood itself with migrants. Her success as an exemplar is mixed. Yet the scale of the crises have long since passed what can be handled through ordinary means such as resettlement. Camps of 300,000 people can’t be processed, let alone peacefully integrated into a stable society without vast effort, nor can such persons be moved to more stable regions without tremendous expense. Once they got there, too, they would lack all of the language and cultural skills necessary to find employment or to integrate quickly into the host society.
So Germany has proposed a new idea, which is being compared to America’s Marshall Plan. The concept of the original Marshall Plan was to rebuild Europe after the Second World War through vast American aid. The aid was not repaid, but the investment helped Western Europe to recover from the war enough to serve as functional trading partners. Thus, it ended up being much in America’s interest, as it meant that Europeans could buy American goods. The Marshall Plan was called “the most unsordid act in history,” and it was that. It was an act of tremendous generosity. Nevertheless, it did redound to America’s benefit in the long term.
Germany’s proposal follows a similar line: what if, instead of trying to absorb endless flows of refugees, Europe led the way in investing in Africa so that it could provide homes and jobs for the refugees already there?
The minister added that there are currently an estimated 20 million displaced persons in Africa.
Last year Europe faced a flow of asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Asia on a scale unprecedented since World War Two, with over a million people arriving over 12 months. The challenge sparked a rise of nationalism in Europe and strained relations between EU members, some of which reintroduced border control measures and toughened immigration laws.
In other words, the scale of the refugee problem in Africa is twenty times the problem that Europe has already stressed itself to the breaking point trying to absorb. Europe cannot accept refugees on that scale, if it is driven to such disruption by 1/20th as many. It can, however, provide aid that would build up Africa’s ability to provide better lives for those who are there.
There is also, by the way, a refugee crisis in Central America. Latin American governments have enjoyed a great deal of praise for their handling of it from the international community. Yet the United States has been taking a lot of the pressure off of them by, like Germany, admitting more and more refugees into its territory. Like Germany, the United States might also reconsider whether that is the best way to respond to these humanitarian crises. It may be that there is a better way.