The use of conscripted labour in EU projects and Eritrea’s engagement in committing human rights violations in the Tigray Region have prompted the European Commission (EC) to “de-commit” more than €100 million from eight upcoming Eritrean development projects. A letter written by Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, revealed that nine projects worth €141.3 million were initially approved for implementation through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) but due to concerns over Eritrea’s stance on human rights, only one project, valued at €19 million, was disbursed. This recent move has highlighted the friction within the EU’s “dual-track” approach to Eritrea which attempts to mix development assistance and political dialogue.
In this week’s news highlights: Eritrea acknowledges presence of its soldiers in Tigray – UN indicates no sign of withdrawal; “A Tigrayan womb should never give birth” – a report by Al Jazeera; CARE warns of “potentially catastrophic levels” of food insecure people in Tigray; Escaped human trafficker tried in absentia, leaving survivors disillusioned; MSF reports testimonies of victims from Adwa bus station attack; 41 dead off the coast of Tunisia; Smugglers in Greece used torture to extract payment; Illegal refugee deportations in EU acknowledged by Serbian court ruling; EU pledges humanitarian aid to Tigray and Ethiopia; An investigation found over 18,000 unaccompanied child migrants disappeared in Europe; Recent wiretap leaks show Libyan indifference in saving migrants and Italy knew, says The Guardian; Salvini to stand trial; and IOM and the Netherlands “COMPASS initiative” partnering with 12 African countries.
In this week’s news highlights: UNHCR confirms destruction of refugee camps in Ethiopia; Reports of forced displacement of Tigrayans in western Tigray region by Amhara troops; Report of meeting between Eritrean and Ethiopian senior officials and foreign experts in Tigray; Kenya aims to close two refugee camps housing Somali refugees; Joint EU-IOM plan for returning migrants from Libya to Horn of Africa and other countries; IOM appeals for $99 million for migrants stranded in Yemen; Around 1000 migrants intercepted and forced to return to Libya; Spanish NGO rescues more than 200 migrants and refugees at sea; IOM report on high number of deaths at sea; EU to consider visa restrictions for 13 African and Middle East countries; EU Commissioner calls on Greece to investigate allegations of illegal pushbacks; Drones used for surveillance on migrants and refugees at EU external borders; Angela Merkel approves the EU-Turkey deal on migration; and IOM analysis on benefits of migration on communities.