News Highlights: Eritrean government on peace, AU reflects on migration management, EU Parliament concerned with EU Summit decisions

In this week’s news highlights: Eritrea’s own suggestions for peace with Ethiopia; EU-Sudan continue migration cooperation; Mandate extension bill for South Sudanese President; MSF concerned that torture in Libya is underestimated; AU’s alternative proposal to manage migration; EU Parliament disagrees with last week Summit’s decisions; EC announces new funding to help Spain and Greece deal with migration flows; French-Italian border: a manifestation of EU’s failure in migration; and how to include refugees in policy making.

Horn of Africa

Eritrea: Government announces plans for peace with Ethiopia
Tesfanews, the news outlet controlled by the Eritrean government, recently published their proposals for how the Ethiopia-Eritrea border issue and peace deal should be dealt with. However, it fails to deal “with the question of border communities, some of whom will be either removed from their homes, or else transferred from one country to another, as the border is demarcated. The only alternative is to allow for voluntary land ‘swaps’ between Eritrea and Ethiopia”, Eritrea Hub reads.

Sudan: EU and Sudan discuss their cooperation in combatting migration and human trafficking
According to a statement issued by the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, Sudan’s Foreign Minister El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed and the EU Ambassador to Sudan Jean-Michel Dumond met on Sunday July 1 and discussed about the importance of continuing their cooperation to combat human trafficking and illegal migration. “The meeting also discussed a number of bilateral and regional issues of common concern as well as ways to enhance EU developmental assistance to Sudan”, Sudan Tribune reports.

South Sudan: Government to extend President’s mandate for 3 more years
The South Sudanese government proposed to pass a bill to amend the constitution and extend President Salva Kiir’s term for three years. Τhis, as Reuters reports, is “undermining peace talks with opposition forces who condemned the move as illegal”. South Sudanese National Legislative Assembly member Paul Yoane Bonju said that lawmakers intended to vote the bill into law this month.


MSF highly concerned about torture in Libya
The organization Doctors without Borders (MSF) has reported that the majority of patients in its center for survivors of torture and ill treatment are migrants, including minors, and has expressed its concern for how torture in Libya is underestimated. “Despite being contrary to international law, torture, ill treatment and abuse are still being used in many countries around the world and the global medical community is largely unprepared to identify survivors of these horrible practices amongst its patients” MSF wrote.

 African Union

African Union rejects EU migration plans, proposes alternative
African leaders rejected the EU’s plans to set up “disembarkation platforms”, and, instead, announced the creation of the African Observatory for Migration and Development (OAMD) to harmonize national strategies of the African states and to better their relationships with partners. Moussa Faki Mahamat, chair of the AU commission, said that African leaders had to take their share of responsibility for the migration crisis, and condemned the maltreatment of Africans on African soil. “Unless it wants to lose credibility on this issue, our union cannot condemn obvious human rights violations against African migrants elsewhere and ignore it when similar things happen on the continent” he added.

European Union

European Parliament concerned with people’s continued deaths in the Mediterranean

In this month’s European Parliament Strasbourg plenary, a largenumber of MEPs criticized the heads of governments and the European Council as an institution for being unable to make substantial agreements to deal with migration. President Tajani also said that the EP has been waiting for a long time to begin negotiations to reform the Dublin Regulation and called on the Council to adopt its position with qualified majority.

More EU funding to Spain and Greece for migratory challenges announced
The European Commission (EC) announced that it has placed an additional €45.6 million in emergency assistance to support Spain and Greece in migration management. This decision “comes on top of more than €1.6 billion of funding support awarded by the Commission since 2015 to address migration challenges in Greece”, the EC announced.

EU’s failure in migration policy reflected at French-Italian border
The situation with migrants at the French-Italian border stands as a manifestation of the European clash on migration and its inability of shaping policy. People arrive in Italy, cross the border to France, but they are sent back to the first as their entrance is denied. This situation “illustrates the central tension in Europe’s debate over its responsibilities toward migrants — a debate that has risen to the level of political crisis even as the flow of new migrants has slowed significantly since 2015”, the Washington Post describes.

The need to include refugees differently in the discussions about their future
Sana Mustafa, founder of a consulting company, co-founder of the international Network for Refugee Voices and Syrian refugee, suggests that refugees should not be invited in panel discussions for refugee policy identified solely as refugees, but as people like everyone else, so that they are empowered. “Meaningful refugee participation requires a rethink of the international humanitarian support and development landscape”, Mustafa argues.