News Highlights: Sudanese militia demands EU compensation, UNSC plans sanctions against traffickers, Ethiopia’s maritime access

In this week’s news highlights: Sudanese militia RSF demands EU compensation for guarding Libya border; The development nexus in Sudan; Ethiopia’s challenges with port access; UN Security Council considers sanctions for inviduals involved in trafficking and smuggling to Libya- publishes names of six people; Smugglers in Niger do not regret their actions; Prevention and trauma treatment important to decrease humanitarian costs of conflict and insecurity, Dutch minister says; Eritreans and Sudanese second on the list of refugees’ nationalities coming to Europe via Italy; British Official condemns Eritrean religious persecution; French Interior Ministry announces clearing of Paris refugee camps.

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Greater Horn of Africa

Sudan: Sudan’s RSF asks compensation from EU for blocking migrants
The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a Sudanese government militia accused of human-rights abuses, said the European Union has to compensate them for guarding the border with Libya to prevent African migrants from reaching the Mediterranean. “We do the job instead of the EU” RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan said. “That’s why they should recognize our efforts and support us as we lost a lot of men, efforts and money – otherwise we will change our minds from carrying out this duty.”

Sudan: Development hand in hand with politics, WFP representative says
Recently, Development Committee (DEVE) of the European Parliament (EP) hosted Matthew Hollingworth, Representative of the World Food Program in Sudan who discussed about the issues at stake in Sudan, and how funding for development goes hand in hand with politics.

Ethiopia: Ethiopia’s sensitive issue of port access
Having been landlocked in the Horn of Africa region after Eritrea gained independence in 1991, Ethiopia’s stable access to ports is a sensitive issue due to the geopolitical dynamics of the region. The Life & Peace Institute suggests that Ethiopian policy makers should create a long term solution to Ethiopia’s maritime dilemmas and “work on thoughtful political and economic diplomacy with the goal of either securing a port for Ethiopia on a permanent basis and/or effectively achieving port diversification”.


UNSC is considering sanctions on migrant smugglers in Libya
The UN Security Council (UNSC) is considering the imposition of the first-ever sanctions on migrant smugglers in Libya, targeting six leaders of trafficking rings. US Ambassador Nikki Haley told a council meeting on Libya that “there is strong regional support for these designations and the evidence showing the involvement of the six people is clear.” During the council meeting, Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov without specifically mentioning the sanctions request, said the migrant problem should not be tackled with “half-measures”, and asked for more information, according to the AFP.

UN officially names key human traffickers in Libya
In their list of suspects for human trafficking in Libya, for whom sanctions are being planned, the UN has specifically named two Eritrean nationals who are described as top operators in transnational smuggling networks and four Libyans, including the head of a regional coast guard unit. Their operations were previously flagged up by Mirjam van Reisen and Munyaradzi Mawere in their book ‘Human Trafficking and Trauma in the Digital Era: the Ongoing Tragedy of the Trade in Refugees from Eritrea” (2017).


Niger: Smugglers: “Didn’t the Europeans think about what would happen after Gadhafi?”
Smuggler Mahamane Ousmane does not apologize for his actions, believing he has done nothing wrong. He describes his work of transferring people from Niger to Libya, saying that Agadez (in Niger) has always been a crossroads where people live from migration. Ali Diallo, another smuggler, who originally worked in constructions but started working with smugglers after Europe helped in the ouster of Gadhafi’s regime, asks: “Didn’t the Europeans think about what would happen after Gadhafi?”


The Netherlands: White paper stresses prevention to curb costs of conflict
Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag suggested new directives in a policy document approved by the Dutch Cabinet aiming at prevention and measures such as trauma treatment as a way to curb the humanitarian costs of conflict, poverty and climate change. Professor Mirjam van Reisen suggests that this focus on prevention “gives a perspective of hope that can help the world unite as a better place to live in dignity and belonging.”

IOM: Tunisians, Eritreans and Sudanese on top of the list of people fleeing to Europe
Latest IOM report showed that Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and refugees were the second and the fourth in number of refugees and migrants arriving in Italy by sea during the first five months of 2018. Tunisians represent the largest nationality group reaching Europe (1910 people), followed by 1810 Eritreans and 536 Sudanese nationals. Moreover, arrival by sea to Italy at this point in 2018 is 77% less than the reported last year in the same period. This reduction is explained as a result of the decrease of migrants from western African countries and Bangladesh who arrived by plane to Libya and then crossed to Europe.

UK: British Official calls on British Government to act against religious persecution in Eritrea
Speaking before Members of the Parliament and members of the House of Lords at a meeting chaired by Lord Alton, religious leaders representing Eritrea’s Christians and Muslims spoke about the repression their people face today. The British Official explained how the violation of religious freedoms constitutes an infringement of one of the founding values of the United Nations enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and called the British government to act.

France: Interior Ministry announces clearingof migrants’ camps
In a debate over how best to respond to the arrival of homeless people, France’s interior minister said that police are preparing to dismantle temporary camps with around 2,500 migrants in Paris. Expressing “regret” over the refusal of the Mayor of Paris to take the necessary steps to allow police to clear out the migrants, the Minister is said to have announced that “he had no choice but to order the removal of the people”, with this resulting in some migrants being expelled from France in the coming days, ABC news reports.