(this originally was an extended project)
How to solve the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe?
The refugee crisis is an ongoing event that is happening in Europe, in which people from the Middle East and Africa are leaving their birth countries to escape war, poverty, persecution, and the search of a better life. However, the crisis worsens during the civil wars of Syria and Libya resulted from the Arab spring, even though the crisis can be traced as far as back to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. There are many factors affecting the refugee crisis.
There is a mix of factors that makes this crisis so difficult to solve. One of the main factors making people to leave their countries is the insurgence of Islamic extremists such as daesh in North Africa and the Middle East as these groups are committing atrocities that go against human rights, however, these groups have been funded by countries such as the US, Saudi Arabia and the UK as this was admitted by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, as she quoted “we had this brilliant idea that we were going to come to Pakistan and create a force of ‘Mujahedeen’ and equip them with stinger missiles and everything else to go after the soviets inside Afghanistan and we were successful” ,”The people we are fighting today, we funded 20 years ago.”, (Clinton,2010 and 2009) and these are the groups that are labelled often times as ‘rebels’ by western media.
Another factor is that the region itself is very unstable as it was seen when dictators such as Saddam Hussein(Iraq) and Muammar Gaddafi (Libya) were overthrown by ‘rebels’ with the help of foreign powers such as the US and the UK. Another cause pushing people to leave their countries is the lack of employment as well as educational opportunities (from countries such as Eritrea and even European countries like Albania and Kosovo).
One of the reasons why the refugee crisis is being so hard to control in Europe is because most of the countries across the continent are recovering from the economic recession suffered all over the world in 2008 which occurred by some decisions, from some decisions such as predatory lending (Predatory lending refers to the practice of unscrupulous lenders, enticing borrowers to enter into “unsafe” or “unsound” secured loans for inappropriate purposes  and as a result of this recession there is an increase in support for far right groups that are sceptical in the topic of accepting refugees.
To approach the situation successfully there is a need to look at some points which are: where to relocate the refugees, the creation of some rules and laws at an international level that can prevent this kind of catastrophes, end the civil war in Syria, control the situation in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen, put the creators of the conflicts on trial, limit the influence of religious extremism ideology in the region and create specific laws that make impossible for the US or any country in the world to fund any extremist group either religious or political.
Given the points that are going to be discussed they are going to be analysed in more depth.
Where to relocate the refugees
Many organizations such as the UN and some NGOs are asking to European countries to deal with the refuge crisis, however, European countries themselves are not capable to stand against a problem of such magnitude like the refugee crisis, mainly due to two things: economy and political situation.
As mentioned before in the fourth paragraph, European countries are facing a tough recovery from the economic recession and some of the countries don’t have much to do with the wars in the Middle East as well as middle east countries and the countries that are to blame for the start of these wars are not receiving enough refugees (e.g.: Lebanon [between 1.1 and 1.5 million] US [between 4000 and 5000]).
To make the relocation of the refugees more fair and equilibrated the refugees should go to the countries that were involved in the wars of their respective countries, and, with the help of their governments (Syria, Libya, etc.) try and help to locate the people that has qualifications or studies in countries that are struggling economically (Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc.), and with the help of the intelligence services from these countries find out who are daesh supporters and are being infiltrated in Europe among the refugees to prevent events like the ones occurred in Paris, as according to a survey carried out by the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in November 2014 showed that 13% of Syrian refugees support daesh.
The move would have to take in account the political and financial situation of the host country and the importance in the participation in the wars of the Middle East. According to Wikipedia the countries that participated in the soviet-afghan war supporting the Islamic extremist group Mujahedeen were the US, China, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Germany, Pakistan and Iran, in theory the share should be of 14.28% refugees, but as I mentioned before the role of the country during the war is involved so the share would be like this:
For the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 there were several countries that went to battle Taliban forces, according to Wikipedia. These are the countries that participated in the invasion and their fair share of refugees:
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1|
|Republic of Macedonia||1|
|United Arab Emirates||17|
For the Iraq war there were countries that went to invade Iraq just 2 years after the 9/11 attacks in the twin towers in the USA with the suspicions of WMD being held by Saddam Hussein and his role in the 9/11 attacks (both statements being wrong ). These are the countries that have participated in the war and their fair share (this includes the pre-war relations with the Iraq government, e.g. weaponry supply):
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2|
|Japan||2 (due to Japan having certain policies for Muslim people they wouldn’t take any refugee of this specific religion, however they may have to take refugees of other religions. E.g. Christianity)|
The Libyan civil war is a conflict that started as a result of the Arab Spring, a movement that received support from all over the world as protesters and fighters were labelled as rebels by the western media where in reality they weren’t (there is a link in the third paragraph). The countries that participated in the conflict that helped the groups that ousted Colonel Gaddafi from power and their fair share are:
|United Arab Emirates||7|
The Syrian civil war is a multi-sided conflict that started as result of the Arab Spring, but unlike in Libya, where the conflict against Colonel Gaddafi ended with his death, the conflict goes on. The countries that took part on the conflict and their fair share should be like this:
The Yemeni civil war is a conflict that began in 2015 between two factions that wanted to take control of Yemeni government. The two factions are composed of the revolutionary committee that is backed by Iran and the Hadi government that is backed by a Saudi Arabia led coalition. The countries that went to support the two factions were: Iran (revolutionary committee) and the Saudi led coalition (Hadi government); this coalition is composed of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, and Senegal , but there is a need to include the fact that this coalition is supported by the US, Turkey, France, Canada and the UK. By participating in this conflict the belligerent countries should take action and give the refugees proper aid such taking them to their countries and give them shelter and education. The fair share of the refugees should be like this:
The second civil war of Libya  started in 2014, 3 years after the end of the first Libyan civil war, which ended with the death of Colonel Gaddafi and involves the Tobruk government and the GNC and their respective allies. The allies of the two bands are: US, UK, Egypt and UAE (Tobruk government), Qatar, Sudan and Turkey (GNC), there is also a need to mention that the US is supporting the GNA. The fair share of refugee should be like this:
The Iraq civil war is an armed conflict that started in 2014. There are several factions fighting in this civil war such as Daesh, the Iraqi government or the Kurds. The countries supporting the Iraqi government and the other factions with military aid and the war in general and the fair share of refugees for all the countries that are trying to help in the task to stop the rising of insurgents are:
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||5|
The afghan war (2015-?) is the conflict after the US led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to 2014. In this conflict there are many countries supporting the different factions that are battling in the conflict those countries and their fair share of the refugees are:
Knowing the different countries that took part in the wars and their fair share of refugees that should be taken, adding those percentages should be like this:
|Name of the country||no of wars said country participated||Total % of refugees taken (all added)||Average % of refugees being taken|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||3||8||0.888888888|
The creation of some rules and laws at an international level that can prevent these kinds of catastrophes
The intervention of western countries to the regions of the Middle East and North Africa haven’t brought anything good but more misery to those regions and it might be true that in some instances invasions were needed, like in 2001 when foreign powers went to fight the Taliban government, however this makes little difference when comparing to the actions of the past (1978) and the future (2001-2016). The countries that started these wars didn’t have a clue on the geopolitics of the region and the problems that would suppose overthrowing a dictator in the Middle East and North Africa like it happened in Iraq and Libya.
After the conflicts in these regions western countries should have learned the lesson of not intervene in the regions, however this is not the case. There should be the existence of international laws that forbid countries that have participated in wars or invasions of another country from doing it again unless it is needed, a good example would be the US, the UK and Saudi Arabia, countries that have participated in the soviet-afghan war and funded the mujahideen and participated in many other wars would forbidden of participating and funding conflicts and a violation would suppose a fine and a punishment for breaking the law, there should be another law that prevents corporations of any country to make profit of a war  .
Amid the tensions on the region, some countries decided to carry airstrikes on the war torn countries   there should be a law that punishes severely the countries that are carrying the airstrikes independently of their status, and whether they are on their territory or not, as a measure to make sure other countries in the future do not decide to carry airstrikes independently of the situation or the conflict they want to participate as according to some sources airstrikes kill civilians nearly 90% of the times   there should be also a law that should prevent presidential candidates from access to power if they are influenced by a corporation or a foreign government after a war finished in a country or whenever it suits to those individuals    .
All these laws can help prevent future wars caused by any country; however, for these laws to be applied there is a need to change the state of things at an international level right now.
For starters the change should occur at the UN and consequently every international organization (this including some governments and their foreign policies e.g. US), firstly there should be an elimination of the veto vote as some countries that have this right can veto some important decision and by removing this right from these certain countries it might create a sense of equality between countries, secondly there should be a removal of some policies that might favour a country that plans to invade another country, and last there should be a law that prosecutes the leader of a country and high rank officials that tries to invade another country and under the circumstances that there is little opposition to the war (basically if the invading country has an opposition of 1 or more countries that do not want the invasion to happen but still the invasion takes place the high rank officials should go on trial) and an economic compensation to the invaded country.
End of the civil war in Syria
As the world knows, one of the causes of the refugee crisis is the Syrian civil war that started in 2011, so one of the priorities to end the refugee crisis is to end the civil war. To end hostilities that started 5 years ago in the country there should be a cease of fire immediate and the faction that open fire should go on trial before the international community. If there is a cease fire, all ongoing peace talks should be quick in find a deal that benefits the Syrian people.
However, this wouldn’t be enough as a lot of decisions to end the war do not depend on Syria but outside forces.
To end hostilities in the country the international community should make efforts to put pressure on the governments involved in the conflicts in the Middle East to stop funding Islamic extremists and help the Syrian army and factions like the YPG gain terrain against daesh or other Islamic extremist group.
Another measure is that the international community and the UN put pressure to the governments and corporations to put aside their interests on the region. Another strategy that could help end the war is to put on trial all the high rank officials and of those governments and corporations that have been involved in the conflicts.
These measures could be considered as solutions for the current situation in Syria meaning these measures should be taken asap and be included in the peace talks as if the situation gets worse it could reach a point that would be impossible or almost impossible to solve. If the war ends the UN could make a deal with Assad to leave government.
Control the situation in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen
When discussing this point it should be included the fact that most of the measures mentioned in the last point can be used in this point as it would most certainly help end the conflicts. However there are other different measures that would suit the different countries on this point.
- Iraq :
For this country things don’t seem very good since the death of Saddam Hussein and the US invasion of Iraq, as since then Isis started to gain terrain in the region and former Saddam loyalists allied themselves with Isis. A measure to end hostilities would be that foreign powers stop funding Islamic extremists in Iraq, step aside and send aid to those that suffered from the conflict. Another measure would be that the Iraqi army receives help to gain terrain against Islamic extremists. Another measure would be that there is talks within the international community to prevent foreign organizations/governments to start a war in the country, and as a measure to support this point elections should be held to bring a national unity and to represent the Iraqi people, meaning that foreign powers and corporations can’t interfere in the elections and try to fund and influence the candidates, if they do, the candidate and the officials from the other country/corporation would be put on trial.
- Libya :
In this country things have escalated into something unrecognizable of what was known during Gaddafi’s government. One of the biggest problems are the Islamic extremists operating in the country and one of the reasons that they have grown strong is because of the funding they have received since the Arab spring that escalated into hostilities.
A solution would be hard to find but the most effective would be a massive deploy of UN peace troops to fight the threat of Islamic extremism, however, this would mean that troops of foreign powers (USA, UK, gulf countries, EU countries, etc.) would stay out this; another measure would be that there is someone that can bring a national unity without being influenced by “outside influences”.
However, this is an extremely difficult task as Gaddafi was the one bringing a national unity to the country and now it seems almost impossible as there is strong sense of independentism in the three regions of the country (Fezzan, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania) and the fact that the country itself is an artificial creation of an colonial era makes it even harder to maintain it united. And as for other measures it would be mostly aid and the cease of airstrikes like Iraq.
In this case things are not complicated to solve it like it was in Libya. For starters the US led coalition should step down as well as Iran, Russia, Turkey and Pakistan and let the UN peacekeepers and the afghan army fight the Taliban insurgence. Another measure could be the halt of airstrikes as most of the times it will hit civilians (90%) and not the Taliban. Humanitarian aid (food, medicine, etc.) is needed, and new elections to unite the country after defeating the Taliban and the other Islamic militias would be advisable, meaning that outside powers do not have the right to interfere in the elections just for their interests and if it happens the people who took part on the scandals would be going to jail from the part of the foreign power as well as the presidential candidate.
In the context of Yemen the war can reach an end as it recently started. The first thing to do is to stop the airstrikes as it mostly kills civilians and not the targeted people. Another measure would be that the foreign powers in the conflict step down; instead of foreign powers it would be down to the UN peace keepers and the Yemeni army to take down the extremist militias in the countries; another measure would be a peace agreement between the Shia and Sunni population and a union to take down Islamic extremists. Humanitarian aid sent by the international community would be needed. An advisable thing to do would be bringing things to normal by holding new elections to try and find a new representative that represents the Yemeni people without being influenced by outside powers, if it happens then the presidential candidate and the officials from said country would be going before the international court and this measure would hopefully put things in the correct path.
Put the creators of the conflicts on trial
This method would serve as a demonstration that if you start wars for your own benefit you will get a punishment as well as a way to claim justice to all those people who suffered as a result from these wars. This would be more like a resemblance of the Nuremberg trials but with high rank officials from corporations, intelligence agencies and governments that have had something to do with the wars and depending on their role the punishment would be harsher. The trial would also serve to question some leaders of state about their roles on these wars if their roles are not that important comparing to those that had more influential roles in the wars mentioned in the paragraphs above.
People that should be tried/convicted/questioned by an impartial jury that represents the international community:
-George W. Bush: for the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, the deaths of many people (civilians and soldiers) and start wars in the Middle East just for his own interests, as well as incarcerating innocent people accused of having links with terrorism in Guantanamo bay by making deals with Pakistani and afghan warlords .
-Ayman al-Zawahiri: for being the leader of al Qaeda, being responsible of many deaths in the Middle East as well as many terrorist attacks around the world.
-Tony Blair: for the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, the deaths of many people (civilians and soldiers) and start wars in the Middle East just for his own interests.
-David Cameron : for the interventions in Syria and Libya, carrying airstrikes and being involved in the deaths of many people, being involved in 7 interventions, funding rebels which may have merged with Islamic extremists or may have separated or fled the country.
-Barack Obama: for the interventions in the middle east, the deaths of many people (civilians and soldiers) and the carrying out of airstrikes. He had the power to not stop the practice of airstrikes as in most of the cases the targets are not killed, but instead civilians are killed. He intervened in 7 conflicts, 5 more than his predecessor  .
-Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi : for being the leader of Daesh and being involved in the killings of innocent people as well as many terrorist attacks around the world.
-King Salman of Arabia: for their involvement in the wars of the Middle East and for funding Islamic extremists as well as airstrikes
-Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud: for their involvement in the wars of the Middle East and for funding Islamic extremists as well as airstrikes
-Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan: for their involvement in the wars of the Middle East and for funding Islamic extremists 
-Blackwater/Academi high rank officials: for send its employees to useless wars and risk their lives and gain profit, and committing crimes (as if you go to a war-turned country you don’t get to kill civilians, but the opposite, protect them)
-EU leaders during the moment of these wars and their involvement with the funding of rebels: for their involvements in the interventions of the Middle East and North Africa and their decisions 
-Leaders, high rank officials of the army and governments of the other countries that participated during the hostilities: for their involvement in wars in the Middle East and their decisions that ended up killing many civilians
-High rank officials of intelligence agencies like the CIA: for their involvement in wars in the Middle East and their decisions that ended up killing many civilians as well as giving ground for organizations like Daesh to rise
-Militants and high rank officials of radical Islamists groups such as daesh, al nusra, etc. across Asia, North Africa, Europe and North America: for belonging to a network of terrorists and being involved in numerous killings   and terrorist attacks across the world.
– Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: for making business with daesh  and funding them as well as not doing enough to fight daesh and launching offensives against the Kurds. He also put military troops in Syria and started invading northern Syria 
Limit the influence of religious extremism in the region
Limit the influence of religious extremism (Jewish, Islamic, Christian, etc.) is going to be certainly difficult as it is not a group of people fighting but instead is an ideology .For this to happen Saudi Arabia is going to be needed as they are the maxim religious exponent in the region. Saudi Arabia’s interpretation of their religion (Islam) is one of the most conservative interpretations known as Wahhabi/Salafi which it coincides with the ideology of religious extremists. Another fact would be that they often fund radical Islamic groups . Also, other occidental nations are prone to fund these groups because often times it suit for their interests. To address this problem this measures should be taken in account:
- Sanction the states that fund these groups, but mostly Saudi Arabia
- Stop them from building mosques of radical ideology across the world
- Boycott their oil as it is one of the ways of funding these groups comes from oil money
- Stop selling guns to Saudi Arabia as it is going to end on the hands of extremists
- Western countries should end its relationships with Saudi Arabia and other gulf states as a way of protests until they stop funding terrorists and they leave behind that extreme ideology
- Ask the US for information about all these years of funding “rebels”
- Take to trial all those wealthy investors in the gulf states and other parts of the world and freeze their bank accounts
- Pass a law that bans the funding of extremist groups and suppresses some foreign policies of certain countries that allows the funding of these groups
- To limit the influence of this ideology, citizens of these countries would need to create a social revolution that leaves behind this conservative ideology as well as the instalment of a secular government and prevent religious groups/parties to form a government
- To pass laws that protects human rights in Muslim countries, however, that initiative would have to come from the governments as well as the international community by putting more pressure to those governments.
Create specific laws or rules that make impossible for the US or any country in the world to fund any extremist group either religious or political.
In this last point it will be discussed laws that can be approved to function at an international level. Some points in the last point can be used as laws or rules at an international level such as “a ban in the funding of extremist groups and the suppression of some foreign policies of certain countries that allows the funding of these groups and invasion of certain countries”, “a prohibition of gun sales to countries that have certain extreme religious or political points of views”. These are laws that can make impossible the funding of any extremist group whether religious or political by any country:
- The international community can freeze the bank assets or sanction any country that tries to fund any group like daesh
- The international community has the right of stepping up when a high rank official from any government has contacts with terrorists
- (European Union) countries within the union should retire from the OTAN if they belong to that organisation in order to protest against the interventions and airstrikes of the US
- (European Union) the union should fine the countries within the union if they carry an airstrike against another country
- (European Union) the union should stop the sales of weaponry to countries like the US, Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries, war-torn middle eastern and north African countries like Syria or Libya
- (European Union) countries within the union should pull out of all the wars in the Middle East and North Africa as it makes the union to lose credibility at an international level or worsen its reputation.
- (For the European union)The EU should forbid all the countries within the union to participate in wars alien to their countries or the continent, meaning this they couldn’t participate or help militarily in US wars, however, they can help by sending humanitarian help to civilians
- (For the European union) The EU should make pressure to all those member states to stop selling guns to war-torn countries, countries that are participating on war and countries that may sell the weaponry bought to extremists.
The worst solutions to end the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa are the ones that are being used now such as military interventions, airstrikes, etc. The best solutions for these conflicts would be that all countries take refugees if they participated in wars in these regions, stop funding terrorists and come up with a diplomatic deal and prevent this from happening again.