News Highlights: slowing family reunification, SAR operations, concern for Eritrean Christians

In this week’s news highlights, EU puts pressure on Greece to reduce the number of asylum seekers identified as “vulnerable”, while Germany and Greece agreed to slow family reunification. The concern for the number of Christians arrested in Eritrea is rising; Ethiopia arrested a former opposition spokesperson; 13 South Sudan soldiers are on trial for the rape and murder of foreign aid workers.




EU puts pressure on Greece to narrow definition of “vulnerable” asylum seekers
Human Rights Watch reports the pressures that the European Union is putting on Greece in order to narrow the definition of “vulnerable” for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers identified as vulnerable require faster application processes and it exempts people from the EU-Turkey deal.

Germany and Greece: Family reunification to slow
According to a leaked letter sent in the beginning of May by the Greek Migration Minister to the German Interior Minister, the two countries agreed on a deceleration of the family reunification procedures. The Local reports parts of the letter and the Ministries’ comments to the press.

UK: Foreign office minister admits the failure of Britain in Libya
Within the general elections campaign and following the attack in Manchester, Mr. Ellwood, while justifying the air-strikes against Gaddafi, recognises that UK could have done more for Libyan civilians.

 Italy: How the public opinion towards the SAR operations evolved
The Mediterranean country witnessed an intensive debate in the last months criticising the state and non-state operators conducing the Search and Rescue operations (SAR). Cospe, Carta di Roma and Osservatorio di Pavia presented a report describing the main changes of the public opinion from 2016.

North Africa

Libya: UNHCR and IOM launch a $75m appeal
The two UN agencies will cooperate in providing essential services to internally displaced people, refugees and asylum-seekers. This action will run parallel to the IOM’s three-year plan launched in April.


Horn of Africa and the Middle East

Eritrea: Libya becomes too dangerous for Eritrean migrants
The Economist reports the decline of numbers in Eritreans completing their journey to Europe. This is mainly due to the dangers in Libya and the increasing militarisation of the Libyan southern border; pushing Eritreans to prefer Egypt.

Eritrea: Support to UAE in Yemen raises concerns for the region
Just Security published an opinion piece describing the relation between the United Arab Emirates and Eritrea based on support for operations in Yemen. This raises political, legal and humanitarian concerns for the entire region of the Horn and beyond.

Eritrea: rising concerns for Christians in Eritrea
Nearly 100 Christians were reportedly arrested in Eritrea in May. Around the celebrations for independence, they found themselves under added scrutiny, says World Watch Monitor.

Ethiopia: Government critic arrested
Yonatan Tesfaye, former opposition spokesperson for the Blue Party, was sentenced by an Ethiopian Court for criticizing the government repression of the Oromo protests. Aljazeera reports that he was found guilty of “encouraging terrorism”.

South Sudan: 13 soldiers face trial for rape and murder of aid workers
On July 11 2016, an attack took place at the Terrain Hotel in Juba. In this attack five foreign aid workers were raped and one was killed. Aljazeera reports on the declarations made by the manager of the hotel within the trial.

·      South Sudan soldiers face trial for rape and murder 

South Sudan: Updating Report
reports an FAO update on the food and drought situation in South Sudan.

·      South Sudan Situation Report-21 May 2017



The EEPA-Team