News highlights: police clash with refugees in Rome, boats blocked in Libya, floods in Sudan

Credit: Nafeer Sudan/Flickr

In this week’s news highlights, the police in Rome use a water cannon to disperse protesting refugees; two opinion articles state that the EU’s migration policy may cause dehumanising conditions in Greek camps and more deaths in the Sahara desert; an armed group is stopping boats from leaving in Libya;  Eritrea gets a new EU head of delegation; Eritrea’s biggest mine sees its production life cut in half; and flash floods cause damage in Sudan.


Italy: police uses water cannon to disperse refugees in Rome
Police in Rome have used a water cannon and riot gear to disperse refugees who were occupying a small square. The refugees, mainly from Eritrea, were protesting the eviction of between 800 and 1000 refugees from a building that they had been living in for around five years. A judge had ordered the eviction in 2015.

Greece: refugees in dehuminising conditions
An opinion article on EUObserver describes the situation of refugees on the Greek island of Chios. According to the author, many people have been left in a state of limbo, often in camps surrounded by barbed wire. “These are the camps that last year’s EU-Turkey deal, which aimed to stem the flow of migrants into Europe, has created”, the author states.

EU: EU’s migration policy causes more deaths in Sahara
An opinion article in the New York Times alledges that the EU’s partnership with Niger to stop migration has not stopped West African from making the journey, but has just made the journeys more dangerous. More people are now abandoned in the desert by smugglers and traffickers.

North Africa

Libya: armed group is stopping boats from leaving, locking up migrants and refugees
reports that an armed group in the Libyan city of Sabratha is preventing boats full of refugees and migrants from leaving. Some of Reuter’s sources said that the group runs a detention centre where the migrants are then locked up. According to another source, the group may be after legitimacy and funding from the Tripoli-based and UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). GNA has been receiving funding and training from Italy to stop migration.

Libya: EU’s plans to use Libya as a migration buffer zone is dangerous
An opinion article in Al Jazeera warns that EU migration deals with Libya could destablise the country further. Different French and Italian initiatives, as well as the EU’s plans to process asylum claims in detention centres and camps in Libya, could lead to social and economic upheavel in the already unstable country, states the author.

Greater Horn of Africa

Eritrea: new EU head of delegation
Joseph Coll I Carbo was named as the new head of delegation of the European Union in Eritrea. He will be replacing Christian Manahl.

Eritrea: Bisha mine will be funded for four years instead of eight
Martin Plaut
reports that the Bisha mine, Eritrea’s main mine, will be funded for four years rather than the initial eight years. The mine is a large source of tax income for the Eritrean government. Nevsun, the Canadian company that runs the mine, is facing a lawsuit in Canada due to the accusation that they have used slave labour by using Eritrean conscripts of the indefinite national service.

Eritrea: US may sanction country for refusing deportations
reports that the US is considering sanctions against four countries that do not cooperate with deportation requests. One of them is rumoured to be Eritrea.

Sudan: floods affect the country after heavy rains
It is reported that heavy rains have caused flash floods in Sudan, affecting camps for displaced people especially. Not only have many houses been destroyed or damaged, the floods also increase the risk of cholera outbreaks.

Sudan: Russian ambassador to Sudan diesThe Russian ambassador to Sudan has passed away. He was found in his pool and is thought to have died of natural causes.