Concerns over proposed EU migrant tactics
Cornered by foreign naval vessels, people traffickers may simply throw their human cargo overboard.
Why fighting piracy won’t work as a model for fighting people traffickers
By Colin Freeman, Chief foreign correspondent
As they meet for talks on the Mediterranean people-smuggling crisis, EU leaders on Thursday claim to have one small ace up their collective shirtsleeves. Faced with a potentially massive exodus of migrants in coming months, they have at least been able to pull out a ready-made plan for getting tough with the trafficking gangs. Its name is Operation Atalanta, and it was the EU’s response a few years ago to those other modern-day scoundrels of the sea: Somali pirates.
Back in the pirates’ heyday of 2009-10, when they were hijacking ships nearly every day, the EU despatched a multi-national naval force to stop them. Part of its mission was to protect passing merchant ships, and part of it was to catch pirates in the act and sink their vessels.
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