News Highlights: Eritrea conference aftermath, famine and South Sudan ethnic killings

In this week’s news highlights, the Dutch-Eritrean relations are becoming more tense after the ban of the Eritrean youth conference and during the weekend thousands of people were rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. In the Horn of Africa, Eritrean nurses and care workers are not allowed to show how famine is affecting the country and the government-backed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reports on the violent episodes of the last six months. Furthermore, in South Sudan the government is perpetrating ethnic killings against its presumed opponents.


Netherlands: the aftermath of YPFDJ Congress and diplomatic tensions with Eritrea
Due to security concerns surrounding protests, the 13th conference of the youth wing of Eritrea’s only party was banned. Dutch media obtained evidence that the Eritrean embassy was involved in the collection of money from Dutch Eritreans for the conference, under pressure. This resulted in the Eritrean ambassador being summoned to the Dutch government to give more explanation on Friday 21 April.

Europe: Frontex Africa Report
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex delivered its  2016 report on the Frontex-Africa Intelligence Community activity during the past year.

North Africa

Libya: Thousands saved over the weekend in the deadly Mediterranean waters
Malta Independent reports on one of the many rescues performed this weekend across the Mediterranean and the migrants’ experience in crossing through Libya.

Horn of Africa and Middle East

Eritrea: Nurses and care workers are not allowed to show famine
The drought and the consequent famine that has hit the Horn of Africa and also Eritrea, as shown in pictures smuggled out of the country. The New Statesman reports that unlike the other countries in the region, the Eritrean government is refusing outside help.

Eritrea: Sanctions under discussion
Last week, EEPA reported on new sanctions to Eritrea by the US. However, according to the UN Security Council forecast, UN sanctions to Eritrea could be up for discussion during the update of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group on 30 April 2017.

Eritrea: Seeking refuge in Israel
Gaëlle Faure for News Deeply tells the story of an Eritrean asylum seeker’s experience in Israel through describing the country’s “carrot-and-stick” approach and its consequences.

Somalia: 60.000 people forcibly evicted in the last six months
While the famine in Somalia is receiving media coverage, the evictions and unjust imprisonments are not. In this article for OpenDemocracy Laetitia Bader explains the current situation is Somalia.

Yemen: US secretary calls for a political solution of the conflict
Standard Media reports on U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis declarations during his official visit to Saudi Arabia. While U.S. is evaluating an enhanced role for its participation to this conflict, the Secretary of Defense urged for a political solution of the war.

Egyptian President is also considering to give additional support to the Saudi-led coalition though the deployment of 40.000 ground troops, World Tribune reports.

South Sudan: punishment for civilians presumed to support opposition
Human Right Watch calls for action from the UN Security Council to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan due to the ethnic killings perpetrated by the government and the militias.

Democratic Republic of Congo: UN officials released
Thirteen UN officials were taken hostage by a group of South Sudanese refugees loyal to South Sudanese opposition leader Riek Machar. The Guardian reports the news of their unharmed release.

Ethiopia: commission reports 669 deaths in protests since August 2016
The government-mandated Ethiopian Human Rights Commission presented its report on the episodes of violence happened in the last months in Oromiya, Amhara and SNNP regions. Eyewitness News and Aljazeera articles describe the situation and some of the causes of the protests. The government blames most of the violence on opposition and has not allowed independent probes into the violence.

Sosina Bezu explains in The Conversation the reasons behind these protests and discusses steps the government should take to move forward.


The EEPA-Team