This week’s news highlights include an update about the latest European developments concerning Afghan asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors in Europe. Also this week: political developments at the Horn of Africa, covering the latest news in Somaliland, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Eritrea.
Last Saturday, 11 February 2017, several thousand people took to the streets in 13 German cities to protest against mass deportations of Afghan asylum seekers. The demonstrations criticised the current accelerated return operations of Afghan refugees that are denied asylum status in Germany. What could not be foreseen by then was that their protests would be challenged the following Monday, 13 February 2017. On that day the European Council announced to sign another agreement on partnership and development with Afghanistan in Bavaria’s capital city Munich the upcoming Friday. The agreement seeks inter alia “joint management of migrations flows” and supports return and readmission operations.
Two days ago the UK government has taken a clear step back from its commitment to take in half of the 2.000 children that were staying in Calais at the time of its demolition. In the debate on the topic of the “Calais Children and Immigration Act” on 16 November, UK’s minister of Immigration Robert Goodwill announced new eligibility criteria for refugee children that are supposed to be transferred from France to Britain with the demolition of the shanty towns. The new criteria limit admission to unaccompanied minors that are aged 12 or under; at high risk of sexual exploitation; aged 15 or under and of Sudanese or Syrian nationality.