News Highlights: Eritrea-Djibouti tensions, global displacement, counter-terrorism in Sahel

In this week’s news highlights, the UN Refugee Agency published its annual report on global displacement, showing a continuing upward trend in the numbers of displacement; the tensions over migration between European Union member states continue; counter-terrorism force in Sahel region approved by UN Security Council; tensions between Djibouti and Eritrea rise, and fears grow that tensions between Arab allies may cause conflict in the Horn of Africa; and International organisations have not learned their lessons from previous engagements with the Eritrean regime.

Secret mission Eritrea: joint cooperation to curb migration

Switzerland, Germany, Norway and Sweden tighten their bond with the Eritrean regime to curb migration from Eritrea. The Swiss newspaper St. Galler Tagblatt reported earlier this month that a joint delegation visited Asmara in January to hold talks on migration with Yemane Gebreab, Eritrea’s head of political affairs and adviser to the president Isaias Afewerki. The delegation consisted of Anne Lugon-Moulin, head of the department Sub Sahara Africa of the Swiss Department for Foreign Affairs (EDA), the German ambassador to Asmara Andreas Zimmer and two delegates responsible for migration from Norway and Sweden. The mission was later confirmed by the Swiss Department for Foreign Affairs (EDA). The talks are expected to lead to new repatriation agreements with Eritrea.

Book publication: human trafficking in the digital era, trauma & the involvement of the Eritrean regime

After over five years of field work Professor at Tilburg University and Leiden University Mirjam van Reisen and Professor Munyaradzi Mawere from Great Zimbabwe University launched their new book entitled Human Trafficking and Trauma in the Digital Era: The Ongoing Tragedy of Trade in Refugees from Eritrea last Friday, 10 March 2017. The book sheds new light on the thriving business of human trafficking for ransom with severe torture practices, also named Sinai trafficking, and traces back its origins. It presents the findings that show how money is made with the smuggling of Eritrean refugees and how the booming business runs with inhuman practices such as violence, hostage situations and torture.