News Highlights: Sudan forms transitional sovereign council, sweeping violations in Greece, Churches criticize excommunication of Patriarch Antonios

This week’s news highlights will cover news over the month of August: Sudan forms transitional sovereign council; UNHCR completes investigation on bribes for resettlement; Orthodox Churches criticize excommunication of Patriarch Antonios of Eritrea; New report on national service and education in Eritrea; Ethiopians face violence and trafficking in Saudi Arabia and Yemen; Ethiopia-Eritrea road to open; 40 people feared dead after boat capsizes off Libyan coast; Europe fears increase of people fleeing Libya; Tunisia sends back migrants; NGO report denounces human rights violations in Greece; 900.000 asylum seekers in limbo in EU; and increasingly risky crossings to the UK.

Rising tension in Horn of Africa region

In the initial weeks of 2018, the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir announced the closure of the border with Eritrea which was was followed by the deployment of militia forces to the bordering regions. The reason for the border closing has not officially been made clear and Sudan has denied tension between the two countries. This manoeuvre comes just after the declaration of a six-month state of emergency in the Sudanese regions of Kassala and North Kordofan. The official motivation given for the state of emergency  was the Sudanese campaign against the trafficking of human beings, weapons, and drugs and in those border regions.

New highlights: Yemini prisoners in Eritrea, Italy considers shutting out boats, mandate Special Rapporteur Eritrea extended

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.