New York: Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama met on 28 Sept to discuss Syria.www.iindiawrites.org
An Unholy War l Connections – family and travel
My October Blog focuses on Syria (and Europe), while most may want to switch off – I believe this crisis is going to affect all of us. Europe will be changed by this human exodus, please read on.
A month ago, Russian President Putin arrived in the US to inform the US President and the UN that he was about to bomb targets in Syria and aid the Assad regime. Talks about how to end this unholy war which has displaced four million people, were held in Vienna yesterday. While the Internet provides 24/7 updates it does seem that the catastrophic situations in Syria, Iraq and Libya have been fuelled by western democratic aspirations. There has been no planned alternative leadership. Who in Syria, would be able to hold power, let alone govern the country? Perhaps Russia is in the right place at the right time.
I started to research the origins of the civil war in Syria for this blog some six week ago. I had bought my air ticket via QATAR and was watching the first migrants arrive in Munich by train, the Germans had welcomed them, but now they come – 11,000 per day. The majority of these migrants are young men (65%) many unskilled. Their countries of origin include Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosova and Albania,… 53% come from Syria.
In mid October the EU member states voted to provide $4.7 billion (Australian) to assist Turkey to provide humanitarian aid and control the boats, inflatable dinghies worth about 100 euros. Those seeking to make the journey pay approximately $1200 to people smugglers, the journey can be between four to ten kilometres by sea, many have died including little children.
Image: theguardian, Australian edition, Turkish police officer stands next to the body of a young boy – Photograph, Reuters/theguardian.
More than 710,000 migrants have arrived in Europe this year. Australia’s boat people migration pales by comparison. At its height in 2012/13, 578 boats arrived with nearly 38,000 people onboard (Monthly Statistical Bulletins www.aph.gov.au). Most were from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka.
Human Exodus from Syria
The BBC reported that 9000 migrants arrived in Greece every day last week. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (Oct 5, 2015), Germany expects 1.5million asylum seekers. Turkey is currently sheltering nearly two million refugees. As winter approaches, countries have run out of room to house refugees. Those lucky enough to make it to Sweden and Germany are being housed in tents. It seems the EU is at capacity.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking to organise a quota system with all countries held to the Schengen area plus the UK and Ireland. However Shengen is unravelling as Hungary, Serbia and now Croatia, seal their borders in an attempt to stem the flow. And Germany and Austria are now strengthening border controls. Frontex, the EU border Agency have been told to strengthen the borders in Greece and Croatia.