Orban demands Libyan migrant camps
Viktor Orban. Source: Wikimedia
The EU has been urged to build a “giant refugee city” on the Libyan coast to process the asylum claims of African refugees by Hungary’s prime minister.
Viktor Orban said the bloc’s external borders should be under “total control” and the feeble Libyan government could help establish a compound.
Orban is campaigning ahead of an October 2 referendum on whether to accept EU migrant quotas. Adverts on state television warn of a growing migrant menace and billboards say that the EU plans to relocate a city’s worth of potential terrorists to Hungary. Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party is stressing his anti-immigrant message. Orban asked voters: “Do you want the European Union to be able to order the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without Parliament’s consent?”
Polls suggest at least two-thirds of the electorate will vote “no”.
Hungary, like other Warsaw Pact countries, has almost no experience of immigration. Orban plans to build fences on the southern borders with Serbia and Croatia. “If we let the Muslims onto the continent to compete with us, they will outnumber us,” Orban warned in 2015. “It’s mathematics. And we don’t like it.”
On Libya, he is equally bombastic. It is a gateway to Europe with 2,500 refugees dying on the crossing from January to May this year, according to the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that 10,000 migrants will die at sea by the end of the year.
Libya has been in political chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and has rival armed factions controlling sections of the country.
The outspoken Orban said a UN arms embargo should be cancelled, another Libyan government set up and a migrant deal signed before the migrant season starts again with the improving weather next spring.
The UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Libya in 2011 until the country establishes a single army.
The IOM estimated that there were more than 264,000 migrants in Libya, while the UNHCR said it had registered around 37,500 refugees in the country, half of them
Syrian. Amnesty International said asylum seekers were being killed, tortured and sexually abused by traffickers.
“No one should have to face abduction, torture and rape in Libya to seek protection,” Magdalena Mughrabi from Amnesty International said.
“The international community should be doing their utmost to ensure refugees do not need to flee to Libya in the first place.”
In an apparent effort to stop migrants from picking Hungary as their destination, Orban demanded that migrants within the EU be found and deported. The Origo.hu website quoted him saying: “Those who came illegally must be rounded up and shipped out.”