外交官的國際新聞導覽及中東中亞的歷史故事 Diplomat's daily news review and history research on Middle East and Central Asia
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中央選舉委員會表示，全國僅計入 9% 的選票，統一俄羅斯黨贏得了 38.57% 的選票。
2021 年 9 月 19 日 21:57
2021 年 9 月 19 日，在俄羅斯莫斯科舉行的為期三天的議會選舉中投票結束後，地方選舉委員會的成員在卡贊斯基鐵路總站內的一個投票站進行計票。
中央選舉委員會表示，全國僅計入 9% 的選票，統一俄羅斯黨贏得了 38.57% 的選票。
另外，由 INSOMAR 進行並由俄羅斯 RIA 通訊社發布的出口民意調查預測，統一俄羅斯黨將贏得略高於 45% 的選票。
2021 年 9 月 19 日在俄羅斯莫斯科舉行的為期三天的議會選舉中投票結束後，地方選舉委員會的成員在卡贊斯基鐵路總站內的一個投票站清點選票。（圖片來源：REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA）
該黨在 2016 年贏得了超過 54% 的選票，這是最後一次舉行議會選舉。由於多年來生活水平的低迷，它的受歡迎程度一直在下降。
初步結果顯示，共產黨以 25.17% 的得票率位居第二，其次是民族主義的自民黨，得票率為 9.6%。
Russia's ruling pro-Putin party wins parliamentary vote
With just 9% of ballots counted nationwide, the Central Election Commission said United Russia had won 38.57% of the vote.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 21:57
Members of a local election commission count ballots at a polling station inside Kazansky railway terminal after polls closed during a three-day long parliamentary election in Moscow, Russia September 19, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA)
The ruling United Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, is on course to win a three-day parliamentary election, initial results and an exit poll showed on Sunday.
With just 9% of ballots counted nationwide, the Central Election Commission said United Russia had won 38.57% of the vote.
Separately, an exit poll conducted by INSOMAR and published by Russia's RIA news agency predicted United Russia would win just over 45% of the vote.
Members of a local election commission count ballots at a polling station inside Kazansky railway terminal after polls closed during a three-day long parliamentary election in Moscow, Russia September 19, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA)
The party won just over 54% of the vote in 2016, the last time a parliamentary election was held. It has since faced a slump in its popularity due to malaise over years of faltering living standards.
Initial results showed the Communist Party finishing in second place with 25.17% of the vote, followed by the nationalist LDPR party with 9.6%.
Allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny had urged Russians to follow his tactical voting strategy, which amounts to supporting the candidate most likely to defeat United Russia in a given electoral district.
2021 年 9 月 19 日 20:35
伊朗原子能組織負責人穆罕默德·埃斯拉米和國際原子能機構（IAEA）總幹事拉斐爾·格羅西於 2021 年 9 月 12 日在伊朗德黑蘭出席新聞發布會。
預計 IAEA 理事會將在不久的將來發表關於伊朗和核僵局的聲明，而在 9 月 12 日 IAEA 負責人緊急訪問伊朗之後即將舉行的 Eslami-Grossi 會議被視為奠定了基礎。
相比之下，如果給人的印像是德黑蘭仍在阻撓 IAEA，正如它自 2 月 24 日和 5 月 24 日以來在不同級別所做的那樣，那麼 IAEA 理事會可能會像 2020 年 6 月那樣譴責伊朗，甚至將其違反核行為的行為提交給聯合國安理會。
國際原子能機構（IAEA）總幹事拉斐爾·格羅西於 2021 年 9 月 13 日抵達奧地利維也納，參加 IAEA 理事會會議的開始。（圖片來源：REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER）
儘管格羅西表示初步協議將允許 IAEA 檢查員更換核設施的監控攝像機，但法爾斯通訊社上週四報導稱，Eslami 曾表示大量攝像機已被關閉。
幾天前，格羅西宣布他得知 IAEA 的一些攝像機在 6 月份伊斯蘭共和國卡拉吉核設施遭到襲擊的事件中被毀（伊朗歸咎於摩薩德，經耶路撒冷郵報證實）。
上週四，伊朗駐維也納國際組織代表 Kazzem Qaribabadi 宣布，德黑蘭將堅持其關於非法核材料的說法；也就是說，它不知道材料的來源，並且這個問題對未來不重要。
上週五，Eslami表示，伊朗的阿拉克核設施 - 使用重水反應堆作為钚製造核彈的路徑 - 應該重新啟動。
根據 JCPOA 2015 年核協議，伊朗在 2016 年使反應堆堆芯（一種裝有反應堆燃料棒的金屬格子）無法使用。
早在 2019 年，當伊朗開始試圖對抗美國的最大經濟壓力運動時，前伊朗核機構負責人阿里·阿克巴爾·薩利希 (Ali Akbar Salehi) 表示，伊朗購買了備用壓力管，使其能夠快速重建反應堆堆芯。
觀察家們將密切關注伊朗是否採取行動重建核心並使阿拉克恢復運營，這是對 JCPOA 的又一次重大違反，還是只是又一次嚴重的威脅。
結合伊朗最近的其他聲明，伊朗總統易卜拉欣·賴西的新政府似乎仍然專注於無視過去的違規行為，並爭取美國做出更多讓步，以換取停止其 60% 的鈾濃縮活動。
Iran atomic energy chief arrives in Vienna for IAEA meetings
The future of the nuclear standoff might hang in the balance.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 20:35
Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Mohammad Eslami and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi attend a news conference, in Tehran, Iran, September 12, 2021.
(photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) Chief Mohammad Eslami arrived in Vienna on Sunday to participate in the IAEA’s General Conference, including crucial meetings with IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi.
The IAEA Board of Governors is expected to issue a statement regarding Iran and the nuclear standoff in the near future, and the upcoming Eslami-Grossi meeting, following the IAEA chief’s emergency visit to Iran on September 12, is viewed as laying the groundwork.
If progress is made toward restoring IAEA inspectors’ access to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites, and possibly in clearing up some of the unexplained and undeclared illicit nuclear material and sites found in Iran, the IAEA Board may push off taking significant action.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi arrives for the beginning of an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER)
Observers have indicated that Iran’s last-minute showing of a readiness to re-engage the IAEA was timed to stave off any major move against it at least until the next significant IAEA Board meeting in around three months.
Despite an initial deal that Grossi said would allow IAEA inspectors to replace their monitoring cameras at nuclear facilities, the Fars News Agency reported last Thursday that Eslami had said a large number of the cameras had been shut off.
This statement came days after Grossi announced that he had learned some IAEA cameras were destroyed during an incident in June when the Islamic Republic’s nuclear Karaj facility was attacked (attributed by Iran to the Mossad, validated by The Jerusalem Post.)
Last Thursday, Iran’s Representative at International Organizations in Vienna Kazzem Qaribabadi declared that Tehran would stick to its narrative about illicit nuclear material; namely, that it does not know the material’s origins and that the issue is unimportant for the future.
This past Friday, Eslami said that Iran’s Arak nuclear facility – for using a heavy water reactor for a plutonium path to a nuclear bomb – should be reactivated.
Under the JCPOA 2015 nuclear deal, Iran made the reactor core – a metal lattice that holds reactor fuel rods – unusable in 2016.
Already back in 2019, when Iran started to try to counter the US maximum economic pressure campaign, former Iran nuclear agency chief Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran had purchased spare pressure tubes that would allow it to quickly reconstitute the reactor core.
Observers will closely watch whether Iran acts on reconstituting the core and returning Arak to being operational as an additional major violation of the JCPOA, or whether this was just another saber-rattling threat.
Taken together with other recent Iranian statements, the new government of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi still seems focused on ignoring past violations and securing more concessions from the US in exchange for ceasing its 60% uranium enrichment.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will leave for the UN General Assembly opening ceremonies.
He is expected to meet bilaterally with China, Russia, England, Germany, and France, but not the US.
Raisi himself will speak to the UN by video conference to avoid embarrassment and drawing attention to the fact that he entered office with human rights travel sanctions already applied to him due to mass executions of Iranians he presided over in an earlier post.
澳大利亞放棄了 2016 年與法國海軍集團簽訂的建造常規潛艇艦隊的協議，此舉激怒了法國。
2021 年 9 月 19 日 17:24
莫里森表示，他理解法國對取消訂單的失望——2016 年價值 400 億美元，估計今天的成本要高得多——但重申澳大利亞必須始終根據其最佳利益做出決定。
9 月，在澳大利亞與美國和英國達成一項協議，結束了法國設計的價值 400 億美元的潛艇交易後，法國決定召回其駐美國和澳大利亞的大使以進行磋商。 2021 年 1 月 17 日。（來源：REUTERS/GERSHON PEAKS）
法國政府發言人加布里埃爾·阿塔爾告訴 BFM 電視台，馬克龍將在與拜登的通話中尋求“澄清”取消。然後需要就合同條款進行討論，特別是對法方的賠償。
一位歐盟外交官表示，歐盟領導人肯定會在 10 月 5 日在斯洛文尼亞的會談中討論這個問題，並表示這引發了對跨大西洋關係和歐洲自身在印太地區的地緣政治野心的質疑。
澳大利亞國防部長彼得·達頓 (Peter Dutton) 表示，堪培拉對法國的擔憂“坦率、公開和誠實”。他拒絕透露新協議的成本，只說“這不會是一個便宜的項目”。
Australia PM understands France's 'disappointment' over submarine deal
Australia ditched the 2016 deal with France's Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines, a move which infuriated France.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 17:24
The new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends a news conference in Canberra, Australia August 24, 2018
(photo credit: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY/FILE PHOTO)
Australia on Sunday defended its decision to ditch a multi-billion-dollar order for French submarines and opt instead for an alternative deal with the United States and Britain, saying it had flagged its concerns to Paris months ago.
Canberra's move enraged Paris, triggering an unprecedented diplomatic crisis that analysts say could do lasting damage to US alliances with France and Europe. It has also riled China, the major rising power in the Indo-Pacific region.
The United States has sought to assuage the anger in France, a NATO ally, and the French government spokesman said on Sunday that President Emmanuel Macron would have a call with US President Joe Biden "in the next few days." Paris has recalled its envoys to Washington and Canberra for consultations.
"I don't regret the decision to put Australia's national interest first," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday.
Morrison said he understood France's disappointment over the cancellation of the order - valued at $40 billion in 2016 and reckoned to cost much more today - but reiterated that Australia must always take decisions in its best interests.
"This is an issue that had been raised by me directly some months ago and we continued to talk those issues through, including by defense ministers and others," he told a briefing.
Under its new trilateral security partnership, Australia will build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology. The scrapped deal, struck with France's Naval Group in 2016, was for a fleet of conventional submarines.
The new trilateral deal has cast into doubt the united front that Biden is seeking to forge against China's growing power.
he French Embassy is seen after it was announced France decided to recall its ambassadors in the United States and Australia for consultations after Australia struck a deal with the US and Britain which ended a $40 billion French-designed submarine deal, in Washington, US, September 17, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/GERSHON PEAKS)
'OPEN AND HONEST'
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told BFM TV that Macron would seek "clarification" of the cancellation in his call with Biden. Discussions would then need to take place over contract clauses, notably, compensation for the French side.
European Union leaders are certain to discuss the issue at talks in Slovenia on October 5, said an EU diplomat, saying it had raised questions over the transatlantic relationship and Europe's own geopolitical ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region.
"I think the French… will milk it for all it's worth," the diplomat said, referring to Macron's long-standing support for greater European strategic autonomy, though many EU states are reluctant to weaken security ties with the United States.
Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said Canberra was "upfront, open and honest" with France about its concerns. He declined to reveal the costs of the new pact, saying only that "it's not going to be a cheap project."
Britain's role in the trilateral partnership demonstrates its readiness to be "hard-headed" in defending its interests post-Brexit, newly appointed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in an article published on Sunday.
She said it also showed Britain's commitment to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
2021 年 9 月 19 日 14:21
曼尼·帕奎奧在 T-Mobile 競技場對陣約丹尼斯·烏加斯的世界次中量級冠軍賽開始前合影。2021 年 8 月 21 日；內華達州拉斯維加斯
（照片來源：STEPHEN R. SYLVANIE/USA TODAY SPORTS）
帕奎奧在他領導的執政的 PDP-Laban 黨派的國民大會期間接受了他的政治盟友的提名，幾天后，一個敵對派別提名杜特爾特的長期助手、參議員克里斯托弗“邦”戈為其總統候選人。
2016 年 9 月 20 日，菲律賓參議員和拳擊冠軍曼尼·帕奎奧在菲律賓馬尼拉大都會帕賽市準備參議院會議時閱讀他的簡報材料。（來源：REUTERS/ERIK DE CASTRO）
42 歲的參議員帕奎奧在集會期間的直播講話中說：“我是一名鬥士，我將永遠是賽場內外的鬥士。” “我接受你提名為菲律賓共和國總統候選人。”
帕奎奧是有史以來最偉大的拳擊手之一，也是唯一一位在八個不同級別獲得世界冠軍的人，他對自己 26 年的職業生涯保持沉默。
儘管他很受歡迎，但帕奎奧在杜特爾特的女兒薩拉·杜特爾特-卡皮奧 (Sara Duterte-Carpio) 的民意調查中一直處於領先地位。
7 月，帕奎奧在就杜特爾特在中國問題上的立場和打擊腐敗的記錄向杜特爾特提出挑戰後數週被選為 PDP-Laban 領導人，但他的罷免被他的派系拒絕。
帕奎奧曾是杜特爾特的親密盟友，他曾表示，為貧困家庭提供的超過 100 億比索（2 億美元）的大流行援助下落不明，並補充說這只是他計劃進行的腐敗調查中的一個發現。
Philippine boxing star Manny Pacquiao running for president
Despite his popularity, one of the greatest boxers of all time trails the front-runners in opinion polls.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 14:21
Manny Pacquiao is pictured before the start of a world welterweight championship bout against Yordenis Ugas at T-Mobile Arena. Aug 21, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada
(photo credit: STEPHEN R. SYLVANIE/USA TODAY SPORTS)
Boxing star Manny Pacquiao said on Sunday he will run for president of the Philippines next year, after railing against corruption in government and what he calls President Rodrigo Duterte's cozy relationship with China.
Pacquiao accepted the nomination of his political allies during the national assembly of the faction he leads in the ruling PDP-Laban party, days after a rival faction nominated Duterte's long-time aide, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, as its presidential candidate.
That faction nominated Duterte for vice president, a move that critics called a cynical ploy by Duterte to retain power.
Philippine Senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao reads his briefing materials as he prepares for the Senate session in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines September 20, 2016. (credit: REUTERS/ERIK DE CASTRO)
"I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring," Pacquiao, 42, a senator, said in a live-streamed speech during the assembly. "I am accepting your nomination as candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines."
Pacquiao's faction has not expressed support for Duterte's vice-presidential bid. Duterte is prohibited by the constitution from running for a second six-year term as president.
One of the greatest boxers of all time and the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions, Pacquiao was mum about his 26-year professional career.
Despite his popularity, Pacquiao trails the front-runners in opinion polls that have been topped consistently by Duterte's daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio.
In July, Pacquiao was voted out as PDP-Laban leader, weeks after challenging Duterte over his position on China and record on fighting corruption, but his ouster was rejected by his faction.
Pacquiao, once a close ally of Duterte, had said more than 10 billion pesos ($200 million) in pandemic aid intended for poor families was unaccounted for, adding this was just one discovery in his planned corruption investigation.
His anti-corruption crusade comes as the Senate has opened an investigation into alleged overpricing of medical supplies and equipment purchased under the government’s pandemic response program.
Duterte challenged Pacquiao to name corrupt government offices to prove that the boxer was not just politicking ahead of the election.
Pacquiao countered by warning of jail for corrupt government officials: "Your time is up!"
2021 年 9 月 19 日 12:57
阿富汗的危機，隨著政府在 8 月份迅速垮台，導致大批阿富汗人再次收拾行裝，試圖逃離自己的國家。這不是一種新體驗。幾十年來，阿富汗人被迫進入難民營，這可以追溯到 1980 年代蘇聯入侵和 1990 年代內戰對該國的破壞。
每當大量難民或尋求庇護者或經濟移民出現在一個新國家時，勢必會造成緊張局勢。在我們這個時代，流離失所者和難民的數量達到了創紀錄的水平。聯合國難民署表示，約有 8240 萬人被迫離開家園，2640 萬人成為難民。4800 萬人在國內流離失所。這是自人們開始記錄難民和流離失所者人數以來的最高數字。作為世界人口的百分比，它可能不是前所未有的，但就實際數字而言，它是巨大的。
這是可以理解的，因為近年來大規模難民流動造成的混亂以及各國相互利用的方式，以及一些國家變得激進的方式。例如，考慮到 2014 年 ISIS 在敘利亞爆發，導致種族滅絕，它不僅吸引了難民，而且在 2015 年試圖滲透到歐洲的難民運動以散播恐怖。
當唐納德特朗普競選公職時，他在 2016 年出人意料地當選後，他的政府的一個關鍵問題是減少前往美國的難民和移民人數。民意調查網站 Fivethirtyeight.com 的分析指出，“經濟學人/YouGovsurveys 對接受來自敘利亞的穆斯林難民的支持從 2015 年 11 月的 38% 增加到 2017 年 4 月的 52%。昆尼皮亞克大學民意調查顯示，對接受來自敘利亞的穆斯林難民的支持率也增加了 12 個百分點。在相同的 16 個月內接納敘利亞難民（分別為 43% 至 55%）；在皮尤研究中心的民意調查中，表示“美國有責任接受敘利亞難民”的美國人比例從 2016 年 10 月的 40% 上升到 2017 年 2 月的 47%。
談到阿富汗人，捷克總理安德烈·巴比什 (Andrej Babiš) 曾表示，阿富汗難民在歐盟“真的沒有立足之地”。他最近辯稱，他們需要找到“讓他們留在阿富汗的解決方案”。9月初，他會見了奧地利和斯洛伐克的同行，討論了此事。
他也發出了警告的聲音。過去，土耳其利用難民作為武器，勒索歐盟支付土耳其費用，以阻止難民前往歐洲。正如歐洲新聞所指出的那樣，“2016 年，歐盟與土耳其達成了一項移民協議，安卡拉承諾阻止數百萬主要是敘利亞難民逃往歐洲，以換取資金幫助其收容超過 300 萬移民。” 這筆交易意味著安卡拉獲得了數十億美元，並基本上控制了對歐洲的移民政策。歐洲不僅將移民政策外包給了土耳其，也將其外包給了北非國家。例如，它在利比亞進行了無聲交易，試圖讓經常乘坐脆弱船隻的難民遠離。
“截至 2019 年，地中海三大航線上記錄的死亡人數為 1,283 人，約佔 2018 年同期確認的 2,299 人死亡人數的 44%。自 2014 年以來，地中海已經奪走了至少 19,164 名移民的生命，”國際移民組織。
為了簡要說明這一巨大挑戰，請考慮一下 2019 年共有 110,699 人以無證方式通過海路抵達歐洲，這意味著他們是移民或難民。這些只是已知的數字，因為這些是被拾起和發現的數字。當然，可能還有更多，可能還有 100,000 或更多到達並且沒有人攔截它們。數字隨時間變化。2014 年，共有 170,100 人被記錄到意大利，而只有 43,518 人來到希臘。抵達意大利的人大多來自非洲或北非。那些來到希臘的人傾向於敘利亞人和阿富汗人。
2015年，歐洲爆發大規模敘利亞難民危機，在德國總理默克爾的慫恿下承諾支持他們，共有853,650人乘船抵達希臘。據信，有超過一百萬人越過希臘，經馬其頓到達塞爾維亞，然後到達匈牙利。與土耳其的交易將這些數字減少了 90%。要做到這一點，土耳其要求的不僅僅是金錢上的讓步。安卡拉的外交政策變得更加激進。到 2016 年，土耳其入侵了曼比季附近的敘利亞北部，到 2017 年，它正在與伊德利卜的聖戰分子合作。2018 年初，土耳其從阿夫林入侵並種族清洗了庫爾德人。2019 年，土耳其在特朗普政府的許可下入侵敘利亞東部，殺害了更多庫爾德人。這是安卡拉從美國和歐盟得到的空白支票。阻止難民，你可以殺死和種族清洗敘利亞庫爾德人，是安卡拉得到的信息。土耳其也開始威脅和欺負希臘，派遣軍艦和天然氣勘探船騷擾希臘人。這幾乎導致了 2020 年的衝突，並拉近了以色列、希臘和塞浦路斯的距離。
2021 年 3 月 12 日，敘利亞難民在黎巴嫩貝卡谷地的一個非正式帳篷定居點搬運集裝箱時走路（圖片來源：MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS）
我在 2015 年去東歐和後來去約旦的旅行中看到了絕望的敘利亞和阿富汗難民的臉。在歐洲，我在塞薩洛尼基租了一輛車，向北開到希臘邊境，現在稱為北馬其頓。在那裡，希臘邊防警察正在排成一排的難民，主要是敘利亞人，難民正穿過一座橋前往北馬其頓，在那裡他們遇到了軍隊和警察。然後他們乞求登上前往塞爾維亞的巴士。這是有組織的混亂。沒有人檢查文件，沒有人關心這些人是誰。
2015 年 9 月的幾天裡，我睡在車裡，和難民一起散步。一天清晨，我在匈牙利邊境的大霧中，當時當局修建了新的圍欄，將移民拒之門外。在那之前，人們一直沿著廢棄的舊鐵軌向北走。可以理解為什麼像匈牙利這樣的國家想要關閉邊境，而不是接受歐盟要求他們收容無數人的要求。另一方面，人們為什麼想通過匈牙利到達德國，他們認為他們會受到歡迎，這也是可以理解的。
對於阿薩德政權來說，許多敘利亞人的逃離是因禍得福。在 2011 年的內戰和叛亂之前，大量人口湧入敘利亞的城市，環境變化也導致這些城市地區的緊張局勢。戰爭導致許多遜尼派阿拉伯敘利亞人流離失所，這在人口結構上適合由伊朗支持且經常由阿拉維派少數民族領導的敘利亞政權。減少敘利亞遜尼派阿拉伯人的人口或將他們轉移到約旦並在土耳其控制下，是該政權將人口時鐘倒退到 1980 年代的一種方式。
Collapse of Afghanistan calls back to similar past refugee crises
Whenever large numbers of refugees or asylum seekers, or economic migrants, show up in a new country it is bound to cause tension.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 12:57
Couple sits covered with a blanket as refugees and migrants camp on a road following a fire at the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The crisis in Afghanistan, with the rapid collapse of the government in August, has led to large numbers of Afghans once again packing their things and seeking to flee their country. This is not a new experience. Afghans have been forced into refugee camps for decades, going back to the Soviet invasion in the 1980s and the destruction of the country from civil war in the 1990s.
“Experts say a majority of Afghans fleeing their homes will likely remain in Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of these internally displaced people had already fled amid the Taliban’s latest offensive, which began in May. Many lack access to health care and sufficient food and shelter,” the Council on Foreign Relations notes. Nevertheless, the Afghan refugee issue is now adding to the already strained relations between states over the fate of many other millions of refugees, particularly from Syria.
Whenever large numbers of refugees or asylum seekers, or economic migrants, show up in a new country it is bound to cause tension. In our time the number of displaced people and refugees has reached record levels. UNHCR says there are some 82.4 million people who have been forced from their homes and 26.4 million refugees. 48 million people are displaced internally. This is the highest number in recent history since people began recording the number of refugees and displaced people. As a percent of world’s population it may not be unprecedented, but in terms of actual numbers it is massive.
The last decade has brought with it these unprecedented movements of people due to continuing war in places like Syria. Refugees are often referred to in biblical and economic terms: A flood, a torrent, and language like that. This image of people “flooding” the borders has brought with it a desire by many countries to wall themselves off from their neighbors. Turkey has completed a new border wall with Iran, a massive concrete wall that is supposed to keep Afghans and others out. It also has a wall with Syria, to keep Syrians out. Turkey would say, to answer critics of its walls, that it already hosts millions of Syrians and Afghans, it doesn’t have room for more. Greece, which borders Turkey in Europe, is also building a wall. Israel has a massive fence along the border with Egypt. Everywhere it seems today there are walls and fences.
This is understandable because of the chaos caused in recent years by massive refugee movements and the way they have been used by various countries against one another, as well as the way some have become radicalized. Consider, for instance, that whereas ISIS exploded onto the scene in Syria in 2014, causing a genocide, it not only attracted refugees but then sought to infiltrate refugee movements to Europe in 2015 to spread terror.
WHEN DONALD TRUMP was running for office, and after he was surprisingly elected in 2016, one key issue of his administration was reducing the number of refugees and migrants to the US. The analysis of polling website fivethirtyeight.com notes that “support for accepting Muslim refugees from Syria increased in The Economist/YouGovsurveys from 38% in November 2015 to 52% in April 2017. Quinnipiac University Poll showed a similar 12-point increase in support for admitting Syrian refugees over the same 16-month time period (43% to 55% respectively); and the share of Americans saying the “US has a responsibility to accept Syrian refugees” in Pew Research Center polling rose from 40% in October 2016 to 47% in February 2017.”
When it comes to Afghans, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said there was “really no place” for Afghan refugees in the European Union. He argued recently that they needed to find “a solution that allows them to stay in Afghanistan.” He met with counterparts in Austria and Slovakia to discuss the matter in early September.
He also sounded a word of caution. In the past Turkey has used refugees as a weapon to blackmail the European Union into paying Turkey to keep refugees from going to Europe. As Euro News notes, “In 2016, the EU struck a migration deal with Turkey, where Ankara pledged to prevent millions of mostly Syrian refugees from fleeing to Europe in exchange for funding to help it house more than three million immigrants.” That deal meant that Ankara received billions of dollars and essentially controlled migration policy to Europe. Europe has outsourced migration policy not only to Turkey but also to North African countries. It has, for instance, engaged in quiet deals in Libya to try to keep refugees, who often ride flimsy boats, away.
How do you keep the refugees away? You hire torturers and brutes to detain them. That is exactly what has happened in north Africa. People have been enslaved, raped, kept in camps, extorted of money and killed. The same happened in Sinai for years when traffickers realized they could bring refugees and migrants from places like Eritrea and dump them in the desert after demanding payments from families. In many cases the women were raped and men and women tortured, screaming into phones, to get their families to pay. This was a trade the Bedouin in Sinai did, until the borders were closed and the refugees had nowhere to go. Probably thousands or tens of thousands were killed in the process. We will never know how many the deserts and seas have swallowed, perhaps tens of thousands who died on the way to Europe in recent years. What we know about those numbers is only scant.
“Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through 2019 are at 1,283 individuals – or about 44% of the 2,299 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018. The Mediterranean has claimed the lives of at least 19,164 migrants since 2014,” says the International Organization for Migration.
TO GIVE a snapshot of the overwhelming challenge, consider that in 2019 a total of 110,699 people arrived by sea to Europe in an undocumented manner, meaning they were migrants or refugees. These are just the numbers that are known, since these are the ones who were picked up and found. Certainly there may be many more, maybe another 100,000 or more that arrived and no one intercepted them. The numbers change over time. In 2014 a total of 170,100 people were recorded to have reached Italy, while only 43,518 came to Greece. The ones arriving in Italy mostly come from Africa or North Africa. Those coming to Greece tend to Syrians and Afghans.
In 2015 when the massive Syrian refugee crisis broke in Europe, egged on by Germany’s Angela Merkel promising them support, a total of 853,650 people reached Greece by boat. It is believed that more than a million crossed to Greece and made their way via Macedonia to Serbia and then to Hungary. The deal with Turkey cut those numbers by 90%. To do that Turkey demanded concessions beyond money. Ankara’s foreign policy became more aggressive. By 2016 Turkey had invaded northern Syria near Manbij and by 2017 it was working with jihadists in Idlib. In early 2018 Turkey invaded and ethnically cleansed Kurds from Afrin. In 2019 Turkey, with permission from the Trump administration, invaded eastern Syria, killing more Kurds. This was the blank check Ankara got from the US and EU. Stop the refugees and you can kill and ethnically cleanse Syrian Kurds, was the message Ankara got. Turkey also began to threaten and bully Greece, sending warships and gas exploration vessels to harass the Greeks. This almost led to conflict in 2020, and brought Israel, Greece and Cyprus closer.
The Syrian refugee issue continues to affect the region. With millions displaced inside Syria and millions still living in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, Syrian refugees and displaced people constitute a large number of the region’s displaced. Many will not go home because they report that the Syrian regime forcibly recruits men for the army and tortures and “disappears” some people.
Syrian refugees walk as they carry containers at an informal tented settlement in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon March 12, 2021 (credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS)
I SAW the face of the desperate Syrian and Afghan refugees in trips I took in 2015 to eastern Europe and then later to Jordan. In Europe I hired a car in Thesaloniki and drove north to the Greek border with what is now called North Macedonia. There the Greek border police were forming lines of refugees, mostly Syrians, and the refugees were crossing a bridge to North Macedonia where they were met by military and police. Then they begged their way onto buses heading to Serbia. It was organized chaos. No one checked documents, no one cared who these people were.
While the bridge was used for the refugees, a highway nearby had actual border checks and a border crossing. The bridge was the undocumented crossing. The goal of Greece and the authorities from North Macedonia and Serbia was to keep the people moving north. So long as they kept moving there would be no violence or problems. These countries are themselves poor and have no way to house or help all these refugees. Anyway, the people wanted to get to Germany or northern Europe.
I slept in my car and walked with the refugees during several days that September in 2015. I was there on the Hungarian border early one morning in the fog when the authorities completed a new fence to keep the migrants out. Until then the people had been making their way along old abandoned railroad tracks, heading north. It was understandable why countries like Hungary wanted to close their borders, rather than accept demands from the EU that they host an untold number of people. On the other hand, it was also understandable why the people wanted to go through Hungary to Germany where they believed they would be welcomed.
What was less understandable was why the European Union, with its billions in budgets had not developed a border force to fingerprint and process and document the millions of people entering Europe. With modern technology the use of biometrics and facial scans and other methods, they can document migrants and provide temporary IDs for them, so that countries know who is crossing their border. The fact that collectively European countries passed the buck from one to another with no checks was surprising. Here I was in the fall of 2015 on these borders and I could cross legally from one to another, or mix in with refugees and become an undocumented person, among the masses. It makes little sense why the wealthiest countries in the world cannot control their borders.
Today the situation of Syrians, Afghans and others remains unclear. Turkey continues to use migrants as a threat to Greece every time it wants to wring concessions from Europe. Ankara has also recruited thousands of Syrians displaced by war to fight as mercenaries in Libya, Azerbaijan and other places. This means that Syrians have become tools in Turkey for foreign policy. In some cases they have been resettled by Turkey to change the demography of Kurdish areas, with Ankara purposely settling Arabs and Turkmen in the place where Kurds and Yazidis once lived.
On the other hand, in places like Jordan, the Syrians have become a difficult challenge. Jordan welcomed them as brothers and some of the Syrians from southern Syria were from tribes that exist in northern Jordan. But the refugees were denied work in all but menial labor. When they tried to go back they were often persecuted by the Assad regime. Today Jordan wants to have amicable relations with Damascus, and this may involve energy and trade. This means that solving the issue of long-term Syrian refugees in Jordan is important. Unlike in Turkey, the Syrians can’t go anywhere else from Jordan.
FOR THE Assad regime, the flight of many Syrians is a blessing in disguise. Prior to the civil war and rebellion in 2011 there was a massive influx of people to cities in Syria and also environmental changes had led to tensions in these urban areas. The war led many Sunni Arab Syrians to be displaced, and demographically this suits the Syrian regime, which is backed by Iran and which has often been led by the Alawite minority. Reducing the population of Sunni Arabs in Syria or moving them to Jordan and under Turkish control is a way for the regime to set back the demographic clock to the 1980s.
Similarly, it enables an impoverished Syrian regime to manage fewer people. On the negative side, for the regime, is that it means the conscription army has fewer young men to rely on to fight. This hollowed-out regime is now ripe for the plucking by Iranian militias who have infiltrated and set up shop. It is no surprise that where Syrians have fled, there are now Iranian tentacles moving in along the Euphrates River and toward southern Syria and Damascus. In the long term then, the refugees will have their impact through the demographic changes and new alliances formed in the last decade.
It remains to be seen if a new mass migration of Afghans will have a similar effect.
人口基金呼籲提供資金，估計阿富汗局勢可能導致 51,000 名產婦死亡和 480 萬例意外懷孕。
2021 年 9 月 19 日 12:44
該機構表示，該國的政治動盪和動盪以及國際捐助資金的暫停正在擾亂為婦女提供的醫療保健服務，對她們造成危及生命的影響。該機構估計，這種情況可能導致另外 51,000 名孕產婦死亡和 480 萬例意外懷孕。
人口基金呼籲為生殖健康和保護需求提供 2,920 萬美元，以幫助 160 萬婦女和女童。該機構表示，它將利用援助來增加服務中心的數量，擴大提供的服務，並為數十萬婦女和女童提供重要的健康和衛生用品。
“目前，我們的首要任務是為需要緊急人道主義援助的近 400 萬婦女和女孩提供健康和保護，”人口基金執行主任 Natalia Kanem 博士說。
根據聯合國兒童基金會 2021 年的數據，阿富汗的生殖保健和計劃生育已經缺乏，只有 37% 的 15 至 49 歲婦女在分娩後兩天內接受產後護理。
聯合國兒童基金會表示，只有 59% 的分娩由熟練的醫護人員接生，孕產婦死亡率為每 100,000 名活產嬰兒 638 人。這是 2000 年至 2017 年全球平均發生率 211 的三倍多。
2021 年 8 月 28 日，在阿富汗喀布爾哈米德卡爾扎伊國際機場疏散期間，美國海軍陸戰隊和第 24 海軍陸戰隊遠征隊 (MEU) 處理撤離人員，因為他們通過疏散控制中心 (ECC)（SGT. VICTOR MANCILLA/US MARINE CORPS /通過路透社的講義）。
根據《2020 年人類發展報告》，阿富汗人中任何避孕方法的流行率僅為 18.9%。
Women in Afghanistan: UNFPA calls for urgent healthcare funding
The UNFPA called for funding, estimating that the situation in Afghanistan could lead to an additional 51,000 maternal deaths and 4.8 million unintended pregnancies.
By EVE YOUNG
SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 12:44
Afghan women's rights defenders and civil activists protest to call on the Taliban for the preservation of their achievements and education, in front of the presidential palace in Kabul
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
Following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, the United Nations Population Fund, the sexual and reproductive health agency of the UN, appealed for funding last week to address the "urgent needs of Afghan women and girls as a humanitarian catastrophe looms in the country."
The agency said that the political unrest and volatility in the country as well as the suspension of international donor funding is disrupting health care services for women, leading to a life-threatening impact on them. The agency estimated that the situation could lead to an additional 51,000 maternal deaths and 4.8 million unintended pregnancies.
The UNFPA appealed for $29.2 million for reproductive health and protection needs to help 1.6 million women and girls. The agency said that it would use aid to increase the number of service centers, expand provided services and provide hundreds of thousands of women and girls with critical health and hygiene supplies.
“Right now, our priority is the health and protection of the nearly 4 million women and girls who need urgent humanitarian assistance,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem.
“We must stand strong and stand together to save lives and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of women and girls, including their right to participate fully in all aspects of society."
The UNFPA is working for a world where "every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled," according to the agency.
Reproductive healthcare and family planning in Afghanistan is already lacking with only 37% of women aged 15 to 49 receiving postnatal care within two days of giving birth, according to UNICEF data from 2021.
Only 59% of deliveries are attended by skilled healthcare personnel and the maternal mortality ratio is 638 per 100,000 live births, said UNICEF. This is more than three times the global average rate of 211 measured from 2000 to 2017.
US Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) process evacuees as they go through the Evacuation Control Center (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 28, 2021 (SGT. VICTOR MANCILLA/US MARINE CORPS/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS).
The prevalence of any method of contraceptive among Afghans was just 18.9%, according to the 2020 Human Development Reports.
Afghanistan depends on international donors to fund healthcare, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), who said that support has been falling for years. HRW also predicted that the support would be influenced by the withdrawal of American troops from the country.
The impacts of this decline in funding have already been life-threatening for Afghanistan's women and girls because of the impact on healthcare services, according to HRW.