We must help Africa to stem the flow of migrants, says Conservative report.

07-Jun-2016 @ 17:45

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Securing peace and stability in Africa is crucial to dealing with the flow of refugees and economic migrants into Europe, a Conservative report approved by the European Parliament today makes clear.

Reviewing the EU's role in peace support operations on the continent, Conservative Security and Defence spokesman Geoffrey Van Orden MEP concludes that the focus should be placed on helping African countries help themselves.

He said: "We have seen flows of refugees and migrants, as well as the terrorist threat, increasing. By the time these problems are on the doorstep of Europe it is too late. It is therefore in our interests not only to put our own houses in order but to help African countries deal with their problems."

In particular his report calls for the African Standby Force – a rapid intervention force manned by Africans – to become operational and effective as soon as possible.

"This requires stronger political will and engagement from the African countries themselves, more advocacy by us in African capitals and practical assistance by Member States, plus funding and civil resources from the EU," Mr Van Orden said.

The report states there is already sufficient funding available for peace support operations if it is used efficiently and urges the EU to avoid duplicating the work of others. It acknowledges the efforts of the United Nations, the African Union, the United States and NATO, as well as many individual European countries and the EU, but calls for improved international co-operation, an appropriate division of labour and continued emphasis on African capability and responsibility.

Mr Van Orden concluded: "The needs of African countries and the security and cohesion of our own countries should be the overall guiding principles for EU involvement."

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