In this week’s news highlights: European Parliament condemns al-Bashir in resolution on Sudan protests; Ethiopia ratifies new refugee proclamation; terrorist attack in Kenya; Four commercial checkpoints to open along Ethiopia/Eritrea border; Resilient smuggling networks are still active between Sudan and Eritrea; Eritrea attempts to intimidate BBC; refugees without food and water after clashes in Libya; European Parliament debates asylum and migration policy; Switzerland concludes return agreement with Ethiopia; EU increasingly relying on “informal” migrant returns to Sub-Saharan Africa: report; OECD report about economic chances of migration; and Merkel says EU Turkey deal is dysfunctional. In other news: new report on human trafficking for ransom and protests in Zimbabwe.
Fighting broke out around the Tripoli area in Libya this week, leaving refugees in desperate situations. After a militia group failed to withdraw from the Qasr Bin Gashir area south of Tripoli, the protection force of the UN-backed government attacked. Other clashes in the area threatened the unstable ceasefire as well. Reports from the Bin Gashir detention centre, run by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), state that the refugees have been without food and water for two days.
The European Union (EU), in order to stem migration, has made deals with Northern African countries like Libya. The latest plan is that Egypt will be the new partner of the EU in helping to decrease the movement of migrants and refugees towards Europe. The collaboration with Libya has faced criticism from international organizations and the civil society as migrants and refugees become trapped in inhumane conditions. The UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has also characterized the EU’s policy of helping Libyan authorities in detaining migrants as “inhuman”. Collaboration with Egypt faces its own critical assessments, as it is a country with dubious human rights records.