Forced to Flee (III)

BERLIN/JUBA (Own report) - The German government has contributed to the causes of people fleeing in three of the world's five countries generating the largest number of refugees. This was exposed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). By the end of 2014, Syria, according to the UNHCR, was the country that generated most refugees, with Afghanistan second. Since mid 2011, the West had massively exacerbated the civil war in that country, causing a steadily growing number of refugees. Back in the 1980s, the West began supporting the complete destruction of Afghanistan's social structures, which has been driving countless numbers to seek safety abroad. Pursuing geopolitical objectives, the West pressured South Sudan - number five in the UNHCR's statistics - to declare its independence in 2011, disregarding warnings by observers that secession could inevitably re-enflame tensions inside the territory, possibly even leading to a new round of civil war. The civil war is now reality with millions fleeing. To ward off refugees ("border management") from Europe, Berlin and the EU are seeking an even closer cooperation with the Juba government - whose militias have carried out horrible massacres.

Creating Reasons to Flee

The German government has actively contributed to creating the primary reasons for people to flee in three of the five countries heading the list of those generating the world's most refugees. As the latest UNHCR survey shows, Syria (with 3.88 million expatriate refugees, by the end of 2014) tops the list, followed by Afghanistan (2.59 million). Since mid 2011, Berlin has helped exacerbate Syria's civil war, which has forced people to seek refuge outside the country.[1] The Federal Republic of Germany began back in the 1980s to contribute to the complete destruction of Afghanistan's social structures, forcing a steady flow of refugees.[2] In Somalia, (third on the UNHCR's list, with 1.11 million refugees), Berlin had politically supported Ethiopia's 2007 military invasion, which blocked the country's possible stabilization - under a government that the West disapproved of. Had that invasion not taken place, Somalia would probably be much better off today. ( reported.[3]) Fifth on the list is South Sudan - with more than 616,000 refugees, fleeing the exceptional horrors of its civil war, which began in 2013. For years, Berlin had been an active participant in creating conditions that led to the civil war - through its support for the territory's secession from Sudan.

Geostrategic Objectives

Geostrategic objectives had been decisive for Germany's systematic support for South Sudan's secession. During the era of the East-West conflict, Bonn had even supplied arms to the Sudanese government.[4] It was during the 1990s that the principal western powers began viewing that country as an opponent in the emerging conflict with segments of the Arab-Muslim world. The war of secession, raging at the time in the south of Sudan, offered the strategically advantageous opportunity to weaken the Arab-Muslim dominated Khartoum through the secession of the south of the country. This project was not only seen as beneficial because of it robbing Khartoum of a large portion of its territory and population, but also because the south is home to about three-fourths of Sudan's oil deposits and other precious natural resources. With the latter in mind, the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany were not only supporting South Sudan's secession, but also its inclusion into the East African Community (EAC),[5] which cooperates closely with the West. Their plans to bring the South Sudanese natural resources to the world market via EAC-member Kenya's ports, to be at the West's disposal, have been developing more slowly than hoped, with prospects for success becoming doubtful. This is largely due to China's growing influence in the area. ( reported.[6])

State Construction

Germany's support for South Sudan's secession had begun quite early and still continues. For example, already in 1998, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg was engaged in South Sudan. Initially, it had provided advance training for judges and court clerks, counseled South Sudan in its legislation and directed the writing of the South Sudanese Constitution. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs had earmarked millions for establishing a police force in the secessionist territory, while the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) - at the time GTZ - aided in road construction to Uganda, thereby facilitating ties to the EAC region. In 2007, the GIZ initiated a 10-year "State Construction Aid Program" in Juba.[7] Berlin officially recognized South Sudan on the same day statehood was declared (July 9, 2011). Juba is still receiving Berlin's comprehensive aid. In April 2015, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development held negotiations with the government to coordinate German activities in the country. In the meantime, the GIZ not only lends support in establishing a police force, it is engaged in an initiative entitled "combating causes of fleeing."

Renewed Civil War

Through its support of secessionist efforts, Berlin had contributed - even if unintentionally - to creating the causes for people to flee South Sudan. Observers had explicitly warned western political technologists against breaking that region away from the country. Secession could re-enflame tensions in the seceded region, they warned. Internal power struggles between various South Sudanese militias and linguistic groups have actually led to major massacres, accounting for more deaths than during all the long years of warfare with Khartoum. Two years after the territory declared its independence, Juba's internal power struggles have led (in late 2013) to renewed civil war - proving that earlier warnings had been well founded. The conflict is over control of South Sudan's resources, now solely at Juba's disposal. Already in the early 1990s, the main rivals in this new civil war had been engaged in vicious battles with one another. At that time, the militias under Riek Machar's command had slaughtered thousands in the Dinka language group. Since late 2013, Machar and the Nuer language group are facing off with the Dinka, who, with President Salva Kiir, currently predominate Juba's government.[8] The number of casualties is unknown. By the end of 2014, experts were making estimates ranging from 50,000 to even 100,000 dead. All parties to the conflict have been accused of brutal massacres. Most recently, the United Nations reported that Juba government militias had raped numerous women and girls, then burned them alive.[9]

Closed Borders

The German government would like closer cooperation with authorities in Juba, who owe their power to western support for secession. This time, Berlin is interested in warding off refugees ("border management"). The reason for this initiative is that, by now, there are far more than 1.5 million domestic displaced persons in South Sudan, and more than 600,000, who have fled the country seeking refuge. Currently, the vast majority have sought refuge in countries neighboring South Sudan - Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and Kenya. Very, few are seeking asylum in Germany or the EU. Nevertheless, Brussels has included South Sudan into its "Khartoum Process," a program officially initiated November 28, 2014. According to official accounts, Berlin was "co-initiator and had helped conceptualize" [10] this program to end flight from Africa into the EU. Besides EU member states, seven East African nations are participating - Kenya; Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia; Sudan, South Sudan - as well as three North African transit countries - Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. Strong criticism is being raised, above all, over the fact that the EU is cooperating with repressive regimes such as those in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan, whose repressive forces will be reinforced further through cooperation with the EU in warding off refugees.[11] This same criticism applies to South Sudan - number 5 on the UNHCR's list - which is supposed to stop its civil war refugees from leaving the country, through effective "border management" - with German/EU support.

For more on this theme: Forced to Flee (I) and Forced to Flee (II).

[1] See Forced to Flee (I).
[2] See Forced to Flee (II).
[3] See Interests of the Superpowers, Adequate Persistence and Stabilizing Factor.
[4] See English Rather than Arabic.
[5] Der East African Community gehören Burundi, Kenia, Ruanda, Tansania und Uganda an. Der Beitritt des Südsudan ist geplant.
[6] See At the Brink of War.
[7] See The Benefit of Secession.
[8] See The Impact of Geostrategists and The Consequences of Western Secessionist Policy.
[9] Thomas Scheen: UN-Bericht: Mädchen bei lebendigem Leib verbrannt. 30.06.2015.
[10] Antwort der Bundesregierung auf eine Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Luise Amtsberg, Omid Nouripour, Tom Koenigs und der Fraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 18/4609 vom 15.04.2015.
[11] Nikolaus Steiner, Charlotte Wiedl: Grenzen dicht: Europas Pakt mit Despoten. Monitor (WDR) vom 23.07.2015.