The Hague – Around 200 Eritreans gathered in the political capital of the Netherlands to ask for help for Eritrean refugees in Libya. As violence has broken out in Libya, the refugees have increasingly become trapped. The Eritreans protesting in the Netherlands report that Eritrean refugees have been, among other things, tortured, shot, raped and starved. Pictures of trapped groups of people, including of young children and women, are circulating on social media. The protesters ask for help from the UNHCR, the European Union and in particular the Netherlands to provide an emergency solution.
After paying a visit to a detention centre in Libya, the Dutch minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, has declared that the conditions are inhumane. She calls for the closure of the detention centres as soon as possible. She is reported to be the first EU policy maker to openly state this. She continues that alternatives such as open reception centres should be created.
In this week’s news highlights: Dutch parliamentarians express their concern over the influence of the Eritrean regime and ask the government to close the Eritrean embassy; European Union sets June 2018 deadline for divisive relocation quota vote if no compromise is found; migration needs long term solutions, says European Commissioner; businesses in Eritrea close in what activists say is a move to control people; Human Rights Watch fears mistreatment of activists in Sudan; more clashes in the Oromia region of Ethiopia; and UN Refugee Agency wants to move 5.000 – 10.000 people out of Libyan detention centres in 2018.