News Highlights: ACP-EU meetings, UN demands freedom Eritrean journalist, border management

In this week’s news highlights, the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers is taking place in Brussels, and EU Commissioner Avramopoulos warns European Member States that border controls at EU internal borders have to be removed before the end of the year. In the Horn of Africa, the UN calls for the liberation of the Eritrean independent journalist Dawit Isaak; furthermore, the South Sudanese government considerably raises fees for NGOs that work in the country.




ACP-EU: beyond the Cotonou Agreement
On the 4th and 5th May, the 79 delegations of ministers from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries gather in Brussels for the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers. Several key issues are on the agenda, which form important preparation for the 2018 negotiation of what comes after the Cotonou Partnership Agreement with the European Union; which will expire in 2020.

On the 3rd of May the opening ceremony of the ACP-EU meetings was held at the ACP House in Brussels   with Peter Thomson, President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, as keynote speaker, Jamaica Observer reports.

European Union: internal border controls to disappear in six month
EU Observer reports that Member States can only renew their border controls to stop migration flows for another six months, according to Commissioner Avramopoulos. They have to be removed before the end of the year, unless a new reason emerges.

Europe: more and more obstacles to African migrants
The Conversation reports on the latest deal that Italy concluded with Libyan southern tribes in order to prevent illegal migration and how this makes the ‘sealing of the European southern border’ almost complete.

European Union: What is really happening in the Mediterranean Sea?
Alarmphone published an account of what is currently happening in the East, Central and Western Mediterranean Sea. The statement also addresses the recent accusations against NGOs engaging in search and rescue operations.

Horn of Africa and the Middle East

Horn of Africa:  EU sends €59 million to improve stability
Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, announced this new instalment of funding which he says is aimed at improving stability in the region and to tackling causes of displacement.

Border management: improving security and creating new opportunities
Dominic Naish for Accord describes the border situation in East and West Africa and provides recommendations on how border management could be improved by taking a “people centred” approach.

Eritrea: UN demands liberation of journalist detained from 2001
Africa News reports the United Nations call for the liberation of Dawit Isaak, an Eritrean journalist and founder of the first Eritrean independent newspaper, who was arrested in 2001. Dawit, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, recently won the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

Somalia: HRW sets priorities for the new government
In light of the London Conference on Somalia, which will be held on May 11, the NGO Human Rights Watch set out ten priorities on human rights for the new Somali government.

Yemen: famine continues while diplomacy fails
Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, stated that the Yemeni hunger crisis is a “a gigantic failure of international diplomacy”, reports The Guardian.

South Sudan: government raises fees for NGOs operating in the country
The South Sudanese government recently raised the fees for NGOs who want to register in the country from 600$ to 3500$, Reuters reports.

South Sudan: national dialogue conditions set by opposition parties
The Sudan Tribune reports that six South Sudan opposition parties, including armed forces, set four conditions as prerequisites for a national dialogue.

Ethiopia:  severe drought brings the country to the brink of famine again
The number of people needing emergency food is growing considerably in Ethiopia. The Washington Post reports on the situation in several regions of the country were yet another drought is worsening the food crisis – warning that it is going mostly unnoticed by the international community.


The EEPA-Team