In this week’s news highlights: Rising tension in the Horn of Africa region; Sudan deploys thousands of troops; Sudanese ambassador in Egypt is called back; Eritrean President Afewerki meets with Egyptian counterpart; Human Rights Concern Eritrea writes to Italian politician about the mistaken identity case of Medhanie Berhe; Belgian migration office accused of deportation scandal to Sudan; Eritrean protest in Brussels draws large crowd; EU Southern States summit kicks off in Rome; and EU asylum reform going at a slow pace.
In the initial weeks of 2018, the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir announced the closure of the border with Eritrea which was was followed by the deployment of militia forces to the bordering regions. The reason for the border closing has not officially been made clear and Sudan has denied tension between the two countries. This manoeuvre comes just after the declaration of a six-month state of emergency in the Sudanese regions of Kassala and North Kordofan. The official motivation given for the state of emergency was the Sudanese campaign against the trafficking of human beings, weapons, and drugs and in those border regions.