News highlights: Hitsats camp shutdown announced in Ethiopia, Attempt to resuscitate EU-Turkey deal, UNHCR bolsters COVID-19 measures

In this week’s news highlights: Hitsats refugee camp closure in the Tigray region of Ethiopia; UN cancels meeting on Eritrea due to Coronavirus; EU-funded road project in Eritrea allegedly uses slave labour; Natasja Bijl’s novel tells the story of an Eritrean refugee; Eritrean persecution of Catholics reinvigorated; the collective trauma of Eritrea’s youth; Somali and Kenyan officials meet to discuss border dispute; EU leaders and Erdogan meet to salvage EU-Turkey deal; UNHCR strengthens COVID-19 measures; Concerns about EU’s new Africa strategy highlighted by aid groups; Greece’s decision to hold migrants on war vessel criticized by HRW; Several EU member states offer to take children in from Greece; Call for better living conditions for asylum seekers in the Netherlands; Suspicions that arms keep pouring into Libya despite embargo; Ramtane Lamamra as possible next UN envoy for Libya; And Sudanese refugees in Niger sentenced for fire in camp.

Difficulties within the EU-Africa relationship

The recent developments between the EU and Turkey have highlighted how easily migration partnerships, or ‘deals’, can lead to breakdown which can have far-reaching consequences. The decision to extend the post-cotonou agreement to allow extra time for negotiations and the recent working paper released by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) show the difficulties – especially on the issue of migration – in the relationship between two other partners, namely the European Union (EU) and the African Union.

EU Dublin Regulation assessment shows continued shortcomings

In February 2020, the most recent European Implementation Assessment titled “Dublin Regulation on international protection applications study” revealed many weaknesses in the current Dublin Regulation. The study, established by the European Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) together with the research team of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), shows that the original aim of the Dublin Regulation is not being achieved. Moreover, it appears that the costs of its implementations are significant given that its objectives are not being met. The Dublin Regulation, among other things, determines which EU member state is responsible for the assessment of an asylum claim. The assessment of the Dublin Regulation accompanies the implementation report on the Dublin Regulation of November 2019 that was published by the European Parliament.