News Highlights: Eritrea admits its soldiers are in Tigray, Trafficker Kidane sentenced in absentia, 41 dead off the coast of Tunisia

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.

News Highlights: “No proof of Eritrean withdrawal,” states UN,  Alleged trafficker Bija freed, Italian prosecutors wiretapped journalists 

In this week’s news highlights: UN states there is “no proof of Eritrean withdrawal” from Tigray in UNSC meeting; Doctors report rapes of women in Tigray committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean armies; Reporters Without Borders seeks higher review in case of Dawit Isaak; Alex de Waal argues that the World Bank should stop funding Ethiopia; World Food Program halves South Sudan refugee food rations due to funding issues; Kenya’s High Court temporarily suspends the shutting down of refugee camps; Rising violence in Sudan leaves thousands of refugees displaced; Over 40 refugees drowned near Djibouti; Libya releases alleged human trafficker from prison; One dead and two injured in Libyan migrant facility centre shooting; CEAR warns of new ‘containment policy for migrants’ in Canary Islands; Four deaths recorded off Canary Islands; Italian prosecutors wiretapped journalists and human rights organisations in migration-related investigation; Spanish rights activist accuses Spain and Morocco of harassment; International Organization for Migration calls for international support for the families of missing migrants.

European Parliament debates the situation in Tigray, urges humanitarian access and investigation of crimes

On Thursday 11 February, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen met in a plenary session, debating on “The humanitarian situation in Ethiopia”. The Commissioner opened the debate underlying that the European Union (EU) is deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region. The EU is calling for the end of hostilities, full humanitarian access to be exercised independently from the Ethiopian administration, and investigations over alleged human rights violations. MEPs focused largely on the severe human rights abuses, presence of Eritrean soldiers on the ground in Tigray and the EU approach to the conflict.