Nazanin Armanian

It is not true that immigrants travel to Europe for economic reasons. Over 80 per cent are fleeing wars; their relatives have been murdered and their homes destroyed. 

This was the conclusion reached by a study at London’s Middlesex University in 2015. Indeed, Asia is the continent with the largest number of hungry people; India, with its “untouchable” capitalism, has 200 million souls and bodies who live in utter poverty. But there are no droves of Indians arriving in Europe aboard precarious vessels.

Only war — i.e. the near certainty of violent death — is capable of forcing millions of families to risk their lives crossing seas, mountains and deserts. Since 1991 and the end of the Soviet Union, nearly 56 million people have had to leave their homes in the Near East and Africa as a result of US-led wars of conquest. They do not choose their destination, as they have no control whatsoever over it. They are totally dependent on the people who transport them and on the lands that give them shelter. 

Creative chaos for a bespoke Africa


A glance at the origin of the 630 people rescued by the ship Aquarius shows a direct link between current migration and NATO’s latest militarized plunder campaigns in Africa.

Western economies in recession need cheap natural resources as well as new markets. 

As Peter Pham, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Centre in Washington, admits, “Protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources that are abundant in Africa, as well as ensuring that no third party, such as China, India, Japan or Russia, obtains monopolies or preferential treatment” is one of the aims of the US militarization of Africa. 

In the meantime, the CIA’s “Islamic terrorism” brand is opening branches all over the world like McDonalds’ joints in order to feed corporations dealing in weapons and natural resources. Using the “fight against terrorism”, “stabilising the region”, “humanitarian mission” or “upholding peace” as pretexts, the  United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) has so far set up about 50 military bases all over the continent, whilst quashing progressive and anti-capitalist movements and shoring up corrupt and dictatorial regimes boasting some of the most brutal governments in history. 





Tens of thousands of citizens of Mali, Sudan, Chad and the rest of Africa are on their way to Libya to flee war or search for work, unaware that this once prosperous country — it has the largest petrol reserves in Africa — is today the world centre of slavery, torture and rape. With a population of five million, Lybia was home to some two million immigrants until 2011, when NATO resolved to overthrow Gaddafi and occupy the country. Since then, all those who can leave this hell, both Libyans and immigrants, are fleeing the country towards Europe.



Using the excuse of “rescuing the kidnapped girls” by military means, the US is trying to move the headquarters of Africom from Germany to Nigeria, the world’s seventh oil exporter. 

Nigeria is also the country where, the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell has been accused of “complicity in the commission of murder, rape and torture” by the army in the Ogoniland oil producing region in the 1990s. In response to protests to expel Shell from Nigeria after the ecological disaster it caused in the region, which led to the displacement of whole communities, the oil giant created a secret espionage unit which passed on information about troublesome activists to Nigeria’s security agency and asked the general-president Sani Abacha to “solve the problem”.  He duly complied by applying a “scorched earth” solution: nine environmental leaders were hanged, a thousand demonstrators murdered and some 30,000 dwellings destroyed. This ensured Shell’s ability to extract a million barrels of oil a day hassle-free.

Western companies seeking uranium, gold, platinum, diamond, copper, rare earths, coltan, petrol, gas or carbon in Africa have established control over the continent’s governments through investment, loans, so-called development aid and influence peddling. There is nothing new in this: it is a simple update of the 1884 Berlin Conference in which Africa was carved up and shared among European powers. In the process they laid down the theory governing the links between colonialism and racism, as systematized by the British in Apartheid South Africa. Next, they proceeded to murder the leaders of progressive movements, such as Patrice Lumumba, Amílcar Cabral, Eduardo Mondlane, Samora Machel, Felix Moumie and Chris Hani, giving their support to the world’s most outrageous dictatorships. Later on they created monsters such as Bin Laden, whilst calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist.



The year Libya was destroyed, the US split Africa’s largest state in two. About 50,000 people, including children, were tortured and murdered by the warlords who later took power; two million others fled and lay hidden on the islands in the Nile swamps, eating wild herbs and seeking refuge in Ethiopia or Uganda. Thousands of girls and women have been raped again and again, even inside the refugee camp in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. Today, there are 4.6 million starving people in the country. Once more, the CIA has fabricated armed “rebels” to destabilize the country because, thanks to the leaders it imposed on the country, South Sudan is today the only country in Africa that has an oil contract with China.



The citizens of Niger only found out that there was a US military base in the country —  which is forbidden by the constitution — when four men died in an ambush in March 2018. The dictator Mamadu Issoufou was a director of Somaïr, Niger’s uranium mining company controlled by the French firm Areva. A fifth of the uranium supplying France’s power grid comes from Niger, which — paradoxically or not — is the second poorest country in the world. Western companies extract its gold, uranium and oil. Issoufou is like Turkey’s president Tayyeb Erdogan: he has collected millions of euros from the EU for stopping migration.


Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, travelled to Niger in 2015 for the sole purpose of supporting the legislation known as “Law 36”, which forbids foreigners travelling to the north of Agadez, where the US have built a huge drone base at a cost of USD110M. It covers six square kilometres and its purpose is to enable control of Mali, Algeria, Libya and Chad. 

Law 36 has turned the desert into a mass grave for African migrants. In June 2017, a group of some 50 young men were abandoned by traffickers and died of thirst in the Niger desert on their way to Lybia. It is not a coincidence that the headquarters of the EU funded International Migration Organisation is in that country.


Life expectancy in Mali is 48 years and its gold mines are controlled by the giant British firm Gold Fields. It is also the country NATO turned its attention to after it destroyed Libya. It organised a coup-d’état in 2012 which overthrew President Toumani Touré and replaced him with US-trained Captain Amadou Sanogo. Then it hired Pentagon suppliers, such as URS and AECOM, to build new military facilities to allow the US’s quick reaction forces to widen their control over the region.

Do not expect understanding, solidarity, pity or charity from weapons companies or from those who try to maximize their profits. Read about the kidnapping and torture of children for exploitation in the coltan mines in Congo and you will learn the true nature of those “first world” companies. 

And you say these people should be stopped from fleeing their own land?

Translated by Valdiza n |