In this week’s news highlights: The Tigray region faces famine in next years, states interim administration official; UNSC press statement expresses concern over human rights conditions in Tigray; AP report – Tigrayan non-combatants detained; IOM states at least 1 million IDPs in Tigray; MSF raises alarm over humanitarian needs of refugees in Sudan; UN expert report warns peace in South Sudan at risk amidst rising tensions; 130 people dead – EU authorities accused of non-intervention off Libyan coasts; EU to “de-commit” funds to Eritrea due to violation of human rights; EU reveals return strategy as part of migration reform; Greece taken to ECHR over illegal pushbacks accusation; 17 migrants and refugees died on route to Spanish Canary Islands; Family reunification grinds to a halt in UK amidst Brexit; IOM and Galway University start a course on migration disinformation.
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.