In this week’s news highlights: A Swiss court ruling has stated that any Eritrean who has completed the national service can be sent back to Eritrea; UN official warns that South Sudan’s planned election might prolong the civil war; NGO warns that Ethiopia is not to be trusted with respecting the rights of political opponents; 30 Eritrean children forced to return from Sudan, and many other people at imminent risk; US to stop issuing certain visas for Eritreans over refusing deportations; Somalia in intensive fights against the Islamic-State on the southern border of the country; and a video of Libya’s ‘lawless’ migrant detention centres.
Switzerland: Swiss court ruling declares Eritrean ‘veterans’ can be returned
A court ruling by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court (SFAC) states that all the asylum seekers from Eritrea who ‘completed’ their national service can be denied or lose their refugee status, and can be sent back. The SFAC declared that anyone in this situation is not threatened by human rights violations, and classified the ruling as final and not appealable. The risk of punishment or return to the national service for returned Eritreans is not acknowledged by the court. Switzerland, however, cannot deport Eritreans without acceptation of the Eritrean government, which it has not granted thus far.
Hungary: court ruling EU rejected by Hungary as pressure builds
Last week, the European Court of Justice ruled that member states, including Hungary, have to comply with the EU’s relocation scheme for refugees. Germany’s Angela Merkel urged Hungary to accept the ruling calling its opposition unacceptable, but Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto pledged to fight a legal battle against the judgment.
Greater Horn of Africa
Sudan: army forced 30 Eritrean children to return to Eritrea
The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has expressed its concern over the forced deportation of 30 Eritrean children, aged in between 15 and 17, from Sudan. Eritrean asylum seekers flee the country toward Sudan in order to escape human rights violations, and any forced deportation is in violation of international law, states the ACJPS. Fears are that the number of deportations will increase further.
Eritrea: US diplomatic pressure to Eritrea to accept deportations
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declared that US will stop issuing certain visas to Eritreans and African nationals from three other countries for refusing to accept deportated citizens.
South Sudan: UN warns that elections might extend the civil war
After an official meeting Haile Menkerios, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy to the African Union, warned that South Sudan’s general election, planned in 2018, might prolong and intensify the civil war unless they will take place in a more calm and stable context.
Somalia: Al-Shabab car bomb kills 24 Somalian soldiers
Heavy fighting is continuing since Monday between Somalian military forces and the so-called Islamic State, on the southern border of the country. Somalian president Mohamed Abdullahi declared the southern regions as ‘war-zones’ back in April, but even with the intervention of the African Union troops the situations does not appear to improve.
Ethiopia: accusations of human rights violations of political opponents
African Rights Monitors (ARM), a Geneva based NGO, warned that Ethiopian government is not to be trusted on assuring the rights of political opponents. The case has been brought to light after a well known ‘freedom fighter’ Abdikarin Sh. Muse, was allegedly deported by Ethiopia to Somalia and imprisoned there a few weeks ago. According to local sources Mr. Muse risks torture and a summary execution.
Libya: ‘detention centres are worse than prison’
Libya’s detention centres are deemed worse than prison by those who languish there. BBC published a video interview showing how people are living inside the centres. Hennessy Manjing is a South Sudanese teenager who lived in London with his family for three years. After he came back to Africa alongside his mother, he decided to leave toward Europe again through the Mediterranean route last year. Unfortunately his journey did not go as planned.