News Highlights: Somalia/Eritrea arms embargo extended, protest in Ethiopia, Italy-Sudan deal analysed

In this week’s news highlights: the UN Security Council extends arms embargoes for Eritrea and Somalia; Eritrean protesters march to the African Union building in Ethiopia; 700 Eritrean could be deported from the US; legal analysis shows incorrect procedures in Italy-Sudan deal that saw 40 people deported; European Parliamentarian Barbara Lochbihler speaks about EU migration policies; and UN Human Rights Commissioner is shocked by report on Libyan detention camps.

Greater Horn of Africa

Eritrea and Somalia: UN Security Council extends arms embargo
The arms embargo over Somalia and Eritrea has been extended and modified until 15 November 2018 by the United Nations Security Council after a vote. The reason for the extension of this measure is the alleged collaboration by the two countries with the terrorist group of Al-Shabaab. For Eritrea, though no conclusive evidence has been found for support to Al-Shabaab, the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea remains concerned over reports of support to armed groups and the continued denial of access to the country for the Monitoring Group. The country was urged to open its doors to the international community. The embargo also includes the charcoal market of Somalia, due to concerns over involvement of Al-Shabaab in illicit charcoal trade.

Ethiopia and Eritrea: protesters against Eritrean regime march to the African Union

A few hundred protesters marched to the African Union location in Addis Ababa in order to protest political and religious persecution by the Eritrean regime in Eritrea. Ethiopian security forces gave permission for the protest, despite a ban announced by the Ethiopian government forbidding protests and rallies in a national security move.

Eritrea: HRCE calls for reconsideration on Eritrean deportation from US
Human Rights Concern Eritrea published a statement calling for the US government to reconsider the directive to deport Eritrean people. The directive, dated September 2017, puts around 700 Eritreans in immediate danger of deportation. The letter also analyses all the risks that these people would have to face once deported which c‘incommunicado detention, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment’.


Italy: Legal analysis shows incorrect procedures over Italian-Sudanese deportation
A legal analysis carried out by a group of professors and students from the Faculty of Law of the Torino Public University has been published, focusing on a deal between Italy and Sudanese officials. . The analysis is focusing on the unlawful use of the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) signed by Italian authorities and Sudanese police. The signing of this MoU occurred on August 2016 on Italian soil, after which 40 Sudanese migrants were deported back to Sudan.

European Parliament: Barbara Lochbihler’s interview on EU asylum policies
German Member of the European Parlementent (MEP) Barbara Lochbihler, vice-chair of the Committee on Human Rights, released an interview on the EU-Turkey deal. In the interview Mrs. Lochbihler expresses her point of view over the current asylum policy situation in Europe and shares her personal experience visiting camps in Greece.

European Union: difficulties of a common European migration policy
An opinion article published on Euractiv by Solon Ardittis, the managing director of Eurasylum, explains why an agreement over the EU migration policy is quite unlikely to be reached. In the analysis, Ardittis stresses two core points particularly: the criticism expressed by many NGOs toward current EU migration programmes, and the fact that the “EU’s border security strategy to third countries with a potentially poor human rights record has never been viewed as a preferred solution”.

North Africa

Libya: UN human rights head describes Libyan detention camps as ‘inhuman’
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, used strong words in describing Libyan detention camps. Last week a group of UN human rights monitors visited four camps in Tripoli and their report shocked Zeid, who stated: “We cannot be a silent witness to modern day slavery, rape and other sexual violence, and unlawful killings in the name of managing migration and preventing desperate and traumatized people from reaching Europe’s shores”.