On February 28, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey “opened the doors” to Europe, warning that “millions” of immigrants would soon be flocking towards the European Union (EU). Over 35.000 refugees gathered at the Greek border only to be stuck there without shelter in the rain and cold upon arrival. Multiple European leaders have expressed their criticism of Turkey using refugees as a bargaining chip. EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said that “Turkey has a big burden … and we have to understand that […] but at the same time, we cannot accept that migrants are being used as a source of pressure”. Nevertheless, the EU is willing to provide more money to Turkey, financially rewarding the behavior they condemn. A short history of the EU’s external deals shows how this situation evolved.
In this week’s news highlights: Eritrean government keeps arresting religious citizens; Eritrean football players that fled the country still fear the Eritrea government; EU funding of road project in Eritrea meets more criticism; Human smugglers arrested in Gibraltar; UK denies child refugees right for family reunification; Rejected asylum seekers in facility in Denmark are imprisoned in bad conditions; Peace talks in Libya; UNHCR urges 2020 to be year of refugee protection; European Commission shares information contributing to deportation to Libya; More than 1,000 migrants and refugees sent back to Libya in 2020; Eritrean refugees shot and killed in Tripoli; Norway and Tunisia willing to take in people detained in Libya; and Lack of hope caused crackdown in refugee camp Agadez.
In this week’s news highlights: Security forces in Sudan accused of committing crimes against humanity in HRW report; Lifting the UN sanctions did not change economic situation in Eritrea; Referendum in Ethiopia on self-governing of ethnic minority group stirs unrest; UNHCR needs more funding to help refugees in Ethiopia; Leaked EU document admits worsening conditions and inability to monitor returns to Libya despite renewal of Libya deal; Greece closes largest refugee camps; Greece and Croatia accused of shooting at migrants and refugees at the border; Greece criminalizes rescue actions; Criticism on European border control; NGO rescue actions not a ‘pull factor’ for migrants and refugees to cross the Mediterranean Sea, says report; International community must protect people in Libya; Detainees in Libyan detention centres condemn EU policy; and Documentary on rescue action at the Mediterranean Sea.