News Highlights: UNICEF and MSF report, EU-North Africa cooperation, Eritreans held ransom

UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi

In this week’s news highlights we will share with you: the latest MSF report on the situation of Eritrean refugees and the UNICEF report documenting the situation of refugees on the Mediterranean route. Latest news of this week covers Europe’s increasing cooperation with African countries. News highlights concerning the Horn of Africa include recent developments in Sudan and South Sudan.


Europe and the Horn of Africa

Eritrea: MSF report
The MSF released a report criticising EU’s increasing cooperation with Eritrea, Libya, Sudan and Ethiopia to downsize the numbers of Eritrean refugees. The report Dying to Reach Europe: Eritreans in search of safety released on Monday, 27 February 2017 is based on testimonies of refugees and shows the detrimental impact of Europe’s restrictive approach to migration.


Europe and North Africa

Libya: UNICEF report
On Tuesday, 28 February 2017, UNICEF released a report entitled A deadly journey for children: The central Mediterranean Migration Route which records sexual violence, exploitation, abuse and detention of children along the route. The report also includes findings about Libya’s detention centres. In a press release, UNICEF urges the EU to keep refugee and migrant children and women safe, proposing a six-point action plan.

Aljazeera spoke with Simon Ingram, Senior Communication Adviser of UNICEF, who spoke about the horrific conditions in Libya’s detention centres and calls for legal pathways to Europe and intervention on the ground in Libya to provide adequate reception services for migrants and refugees.

Martin Plaut provides a critical view on the approach of the European Union which seeks to curb migration to Europe regardless of the cost for many Africans whose lives are in jeopardy.

Film maker Ross Kemp documented the plight that migrants face on their route and reports about the booming modern slave-trade in North Africa. In his documentary, so far only available on Sky1, he brings attention to the stories of the stateless persons which are abandoned by their own state and neither wanted anywhere else.

Germany: migration talks with Egypt
German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a two-day trip to Egypt and Tunisia to talk about border management and accelerated return operations of asylum-seekers, Deutsche Welle reports. The German Chancellor moves one step ahead of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which is meeting up with Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shou to discuss the “the country’s role in the region” on Monday, 6 March 2017.

EU: Frontex criticises NGOs
Meanwhile, Fabrice Leggeri, chief of EU border agency Frontex, accused NGOs operating in the Mediterranean sea of encouraging human traffickers with their rescue operations, euronews reported on Monday, 27 February 2017. NGOs criticise this statement and stated that their humanitarian action was a response to the crises that the EU fails to manage.


Horn of Africa

Sudan: refugees as source of income
On Monday, 27 February 2017, six Eritrean refugees were arrested by Sudanese police and are faced with deportation back to Eritrea. The deportation could be prevented but the Sudanese police increasingly use Eritreans as a source of income, Martin Plaut reported.

South Sudan: US supports national dialogue
According to the Sudan Tribune, the South Sudanese government has praised the Trump administration for promising to support a national dialogue under President Salva Kiirthan. The South Sudanese opposition calls for a new political initiative instead.


The EEPA-Team