Executive Summary for August 25th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including German plans to replicate the E.U.-Turkey deal in North Africa, the killing of an Afghan man near the Serbia-Bulgaria border and Save the Children launching a rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

Published on Aug. 25, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Germany Seeks to Replicate Turkey-E.U. Deal in North Africa

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to establish more deals like the one between the European Union and Turkey to stem the flow of migrant boats from North Africa.

Under the March agreement, Greece can send migrants back to Turkey. In exchange, Europe agreed to resettle more refugees from Turkey, and pledged aid, visa liberalization and E.U. membership talks with Turkey.

The number of migrant boats in the Aegean Sea plummeted after the deal, but its implementation has been slow and chaotic, and Turkey and the E.U. have accused each other of not fulfilling its terms.

Yet Merkel insists the deal has been broadly successful and wants to recreate it elsewhere.

“We must agree on similar deals with other countries, such as in North Africa, in order to get better control over the Mediterranean Sea refugee routes,” she told regional newspaper Neue Passauer Zeitung.

More than 100,000 people have fled to Italy by sea from North Africa this year. Nearly 3,000 have died along the way.

Merkel argues that deals to stop migrant boats will save lives. “Such agreements are also in the interest of the refugees themselves,” she said.

Afghan Shot Dead in Serbia After Crossing Bulgaria Border

A 20 year-old Afghan man was shot dead after crossing into Serbia from Bulgaria. A Serbian hunter has been arrested over his killing.

Hundreds of refugees and migrants cross the border each day despite Europe’s efforts to shut down the Balkan route to Europe.

A Serbian border patrol heard shots in nearby woods late on August 23, and discovered the Afghan man with a chest wound, as well as five other migrants and four hunters at the scene, one of whom was detained.

Serbian authorities did not specify whether they were investigating the killing as a murder or accident. The United Nations’ top human rights official has expressed concern about vigilante groups of “migrant hunters” in neighboring Bulgaria that have received political and public support.

Save the Children Launches Search and Rescue Ship in Mediterranean

The international children’s charity Save the Children is launching a search and rescue ship to help save lives in the Mediterranean Sea.

Several humanitarian groups, including Doctors Without Borders and the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, already have ships in the Mediterranean rescuing migrants and refugees fleeing from North Africa to Europe. Italy and the European Union’s border control agency Frontex also patrol the waters looking for capsizing vessels.

Even so, the number of people drowning in the Mediterranean has increased 40 percent this year. Save the Children said the number of children making the journey has risen by more than two-thirds compared to 2015.

The charity’s rescue ship will deploy to Italy in September, and will have capacity to rescue 300 people at a time. “The Mediterranean Sea cannot continue to be a mass unmarked grave for children,” Save the Children’s president Carolyn Miles said in a statement announcing the launch.

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