Do not call migrants those escaping corruption, poverty and war.
They are REFUGEES
We must stop calling ‘migrants’ those escaping war and violence and put on the front pages, instead, the causes of human exodus from Africa: corruption, poverty and war.
On September 14th 2018 Frontex, EU agency for external borders, published figures of men, women and children escaping war from Mali crossing the Spanish borders.
In Mali civil war is raging since 2012. Kidnapping, human trafficking, smuggling are the main activities in the Western African country where multiple factions included al-Qaeda are fighting, killing civilians and targeting international peacemakers troops.
France, from which Mali became independent in 1960 after nearly one century of colonisation, is on the frontline with 1.000 soldiers in support of the Malian Government, as part of the wider Operation Barkhane in the African Sahel region: Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger where, the UN reports, six million people are currently starving.
The EU is active in the region as well with the EUTM (European Union Training Mission in Mali) with the goal to train Malian national military to fight jihadists and ethnic factions. The European Development Fund 2014-2020, is supporting Mali with 1.7 billion euros. In July French president Emmanuel Macron during the G5 Sahel summit announced 40 million euros development fund to Mauritania.
Funds are a drop in the ocean of African corruption; the last African Union summit denounced nearly 70 percent of income from Africa's resources is being stolen and hidden in foreign banks or placed in tax havens outside the continent.
Meanwhile violence is raging: in July 31st entire regions did not cast the vote for presidential elections because of threats of attack and killing at polling stations.
As a result of ethnic violence and war, more than 138 000 Malian refugees are currently displaced in neighbouring countries.
Men, women and children escaping corruption, poverty and war are not ‘migrants’, but refugees and the international community has the legal and moral obligations to protect them.