Intergroup discussion on Eritrea in the Bundestag: On 25 June 2020, a public intergroup zoom discussion was held at the invitation of Rudi Friedrich (Connection e.V.) and Kathrin Vogler (MdB, Die Linke). Several experts as well as members of the German parliament parties SPD, FDP and the parliamentary group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen took part in the discussion. More than 60 persons from about 10 countries were following the discussion.
In this week’s news highlights: COVID-19 infections confirmed in Ethiopia’s largest refugee camp; No further EU funding for roads in Eritrea; Eritrea requested aid from the EU for COVID-19; Eritrea starves Red Sea region under guise of COVID-19; Mixed Migration Centre updates; Locust plague keeps threatening Horn of Africa; Greek coastguard neglects 32 refugees in distress for hours; Pressure against Greece for illegal pushback operations; Immense decline of Eritreans granted refugee status in Germany; Allegations of torture of migrants and refugees by Croat officials; Migrant crossings into Europe on the rise again; Information campaign for MEPs on Mediterranean migration routes; Court case against the EU for forced labour in Eritrea kicks off; 12 people missing after boat capsized off Libyan coast; Libyan Emergency food project by UNHCR and WFP; MSF says COVID-19 exposes failed politics of aid in Libya; HRW urges investigation of war crimes in Libya; COVID-19 impact on migrant smuggling and human trafficking; And IDPs at all time high.
On June 15, the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) held a hearing in the European Parliament (EP) on the European Union’s development cooperation with Eritrea and in particular the road rehabilitation project that is carried out with the help of national service labour, which is widely defined as forced labour. The hearing included a change of views between the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), the Europe External Action Service (EEAS) and members of the committee on progress and the possibilities on getting results on the very difficult situation in Eritrea. The ‘no more roads’ decision can be seen as the most important outcome.