In this week’s news highlights, Italy is threatening to close its ports to foreign boats carrying stranded migrants and refugees; worrying reports state that hundreds of Yemeni prisoners are detained and abused, including at an AUE base in Eritrea; the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea is extended; an in-depth report looks at how Israel aims to get rid of its Eritrean and Sudanese refugees; and 2.000 leave South Sudan each day to flee violence and hunger.
Italy: threats to close ports to foreign boats carrying migrants and refugees
Italy is considering closing its ports to all boats carrying migrants, but not carrying an Italian flag, including NGO rescue ships. Good weather has caused an upsurge in the number of people arriving in Italy from Libya and Italy is reportedly asking the EU for change in the EU asylum system.
EU: ‘EU engagement with Eritrea must not ignore human rights’
There is no change in the human rights situation in Eritrea, yet the European Union member states may vote on a € 90 million aid package to Eritrea next month, states a report from RFI. The European Parliament is critical of the aid. Member of the European Parliament Lars Adaktusson stated that the there is a lack of conditionality and ability of the EU to monitor the implementation.
Horn of Africa
Eritrea: Yemeni prisoners detained and tortured in UAE base in Eritrea
Human Rights Watch published a report stating that, according to lawyers, activists and relatives, Yemeni prisoners were held outside of Yemen, including in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) base in the port city Assab in Eritrea. Human Rights Watch reports that dozens of people have been arbitrarily detained in total. About 15 are said to be in Eritrea.
An investigation by Associated Press goes even further, stating that hundreds are being detained, abused and tortured in secret prisons in southern Yemen and external bases, like Eritrea. The prisons are run by the UAE and Yemeni forces.
Eritrea: new resolution in UN Human Rights Council extends mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur
At the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council, a resolution on Eritrea has been adopted that extends the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea, Ms. Sheila Keetharuth, for another year. The resolution also expresses deep concern for the human rights situation in Eritrea, and urges the Eritrean government to implement the recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (COIE).
Eritrea: a look at Eritrea’s foreign friends
Martin Plaut and Leonard Vincent have written an report on a group of foreigners who support, for a variety of reasons, the Eritrean regime. It exposes the (financial) ties these individuals have to the regime and the controversial way they defend its actions.
Israel: in-depth report on Israel’s program for getting rid of refugees
Foreign Policy published a report on the strategies used by Israel to get rid of African refugees, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan. It tells the story of how many end up in limbo in Rwanda or Uganda, after having been pressured to leave the country, and how none of the promises made by the Israeli authorities are being kept.
South Sudan: 2.000 refugees crossing the border to Uganda daily
ABC reports on the refugee situation in South Sudan and Uganda, as many continue to flee violence and hunger. Uganda has been praised for the reception of the refugees, although the country is now quickly becoming overwhelmed by the large number of people arriving.
Libya: UN convoy shot at
It is reported that a convoy of the UN Support Mission in Libya was shot at today, 29 June, west of the Libyan capital of Tripoli. There were no casualties reported. Reuters reports that the attack could complicate the return of international staff to Libya.