Mayors of France, it is urgent to welcome migrants from Moria camp

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Mayors of France, it is urgent to welcome migrants from Moria camp




In Lesbos, on September 12, in the informal camp at the exit of Mytilene where more than 11,200 people have been living since the destruction of the Moria camp after a fire on September 9.


© Mathias BENGUIGUI
In Lesbos, on September 12, in the informal camp at the exit of Mytilene where more than 11,200 people have been living since the destruction of the Moria camp after a fire on September 9.

A collective of citizens and associations are calling on the State and local elected officials to mobilize in favor of welcoming refugees to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Greece.

Tribune. Following the fire which ravaged the Moria camp, 13,000 migrants find themselves left to their own devices, in a context tense by the violence exerted against them by ultranationalist groups.

This “Shame of Europe”, in the words of sociologist Jean Ziegler, is the result of five years of European asylum and immigration policy which transferred the responsibility for the management of migratory flows to Turkey and transformed the Greek islands into sky detention centers open. Contrary to the statements of the Greek government, there is no migration crisis at the moment in the Eastern Mediterranean but a continuing attack on the dignity of thousands of men, women and children.

Moria is not the only face of Europe. In 2015, in France as elsewhere, Europeans demonstrated their extraordinary capacity for citizen mobilization in favor of welcoming refugees. It’s time to start over.

We, citizens, collectives, associations, call on the State as well as the recently elected mayors, to welcome migrants and refugees from the Greek island. Just like the German cities and regions offering these receptions, in this country which is proud to have welcomed more than a million people, we have room, and we have a good enough memory that history does not end. don’t repeat. France is a land of welcome, and must remain so.



Refugees line up for food distribution. Informal camp around the road to the industrial zone at the exit of Mytilene where more than 11,200 people live since the destruction of the Moria camp after a fire Wednesday September 9, 2020. Lesbos, September 12, 2020. Greece.


© Mathias BENGUIGUI
Refugees line up for food distribution. Informal camp around the road to the industrial zone at the exit of Mytilene where more than 11,200 people live since the destruction of the Moria camp after a fire Wednesday September 9, 2020. Lesbos, September 12, 2020. Greece.


Food distribution at the exit of Mytilene, where the refugees have been living since the destruction of the Moria camp. Photo Mathias Benguigui for Liberation

According to a study by Destin commun, in 2017, more than 2% of French people wanted to open their doors to refugees in the next twelve months. This figure may seem low, but nationwide represents more than a million French people ready to welcome refugees into their homes. The tools for these receptions exist, and they have proven their worth.

The coronavirus pandemic has led us to re-imagine our relationships with others, to rethink our human condition. To build the world after. Now is the time to make it happen. The health crisis prompts us to look elsewhere as humanitarian disasters follow one another, and this is where we need to focus our attention.

We can help. We must help. The time has passed for a debate on European solidarity. It must be effective today and consistent beyond the few hundred minors who must be transferred to ten European countries, including France. If the government does not speak out, local power is monumental.

We therefore call on local elected officials to mobilize to avoid a large-scale humanitarian disaster in Greece and to firmly condemn the excess of violence undue by ultranationalist rhetoric. It is urgent to take action. It is urgent to welcome.

Signatories: Alice Beard, Director of Singa Global and Obama Foundation Alumni, Matthieu Tardis, researcher at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), Kavita Brahmbhatt, co-president of Action emploi Réfugiés, Francois Gemenne, researcher, National Scientific Research Fund of the University of Liège and director of The Hugo Observatory, Marie-Caroline Saglio-Yatzimirsky, professor at Inalco, Rooh Savar, Chairman of Singa France, Maimonatou Mar, founder of Gribouilli, Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, CNRS research director, Simon Guibert, founder of Caracol, Carlos Arbelaez, founder of Popular and Espero, Guillaume Capelle, co-founder of Singa, Souad Nana, founder of Sama for all, Nina Gheddar, editor-in-chief of Guitinews, Anaiz Perfect, Common destiny, David Robert, director Singa France, Rudi Osman, founder and president of the Union of Exiled Students, Cecile Pierrat, co-founder and president of Kodiko, Théo Scubla, founder of Wintegreat, Marine Mandrila, cofondatrice de Refugee Food Festival, Jean Guo, founder of Konexio, Sophie Bilong, consultant at the Immigration and Asylum Observatory, Rima Hassan, founder of the Refugee Camp Observatory.

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