In this week’s news highlights: Additional €60 in EU funding for road project in Eritrea despite criticism for use of forced labour; Spanish authorities allegedly sent back asylum seekers illegally; Eight important developments in the last decade that impacted migration; Fine withdrawn for captain of rescue vessel; Migrant deal EU-Sudan possibly contributes to abuse migrants and refugees; Red Sea-bordering countries establish a regional council; Ambassador to Eritrea becomes new Ethiopian minister of foreign affairs; Funding to Libya in hands of militia; Shelling close to refugee facility in Tripoli; Libyans increasingly try to cross the Mediterranean Sea; Drawings of circumstances in libyan detention center; UNHCR officials accuse asylum seekers of setting fire in a refugee camp in Niger; And 300 people intercepted at the Algerian coast.
In this last article of the year, it is time to look back at some of the events of the past year in the context of forced movement along the Central Mediterranean Route. In 2019, approximately 1,246 people died in the Mediterranean Sea, and even more on land, during their journey to safety. It was a year in which the European Union secured and externalised its borders, making it harder for asylum seekers to enter Europe. It was also another year in which migrants and refugees in Libya were facing inhumane conditions that continue to be unaddressed. Responsibility sharing was a main topic of discussion among EU member states. In addition, a new relocation system was put in place, Salvini made his exit as Italian deputy Prime Minister, and the criminalization of rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea did not stop NGOs from saving lives.
Eritreans in Khartoum are in an unsafe situation as random arrests – mainly targeting Eritrean refugees – are taking place in the Sudanese capital. Witness Araia Kidane tells about the situation in a Facebook post and says that security forces are “hunting” eritrean refugees in the streets, offices and their houses. The victims are arrested and have to pay “50,000 or more” to be released. Sources told Araia that people are asked for their identity before being captured.