News Highlights: No ground for Eritrea asylum says Swiss Court, Libyan coastguard “abandoned people”,Tajani: “Niger example of EU success”

In this week’s news highlights: With the peace deal, Eritrean people hope to gain their rights; Religious prisoners in Eritrea released, but numbers are unclear; UN sanctions arms flow to South Sudan; Ethiopian intellectuals submit their proposal on peace talks; Somalia’s future under the MAF; Spanish NGO finds dead people, says Libyan Coastguard abandoned them; 8 people dead, 90 in serious condition in Libya after journey in shipping container; Swiss Court does not find legal basis to provide asylum to Eritreans; and EP President Tajani sees Niger as reflection of EU’s success.

Horn of Africa

Eritrea: After the peace deal, Eritreans are hoping to secure human rights
After the peace deal between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Eritreans are hoping to gain their basic freedoms. For instance, many of them yearn to see the implementation of their constitution of their country and the end of the state-imposed indefinite national service. Moreover, they hope that thousands of political detainees will be released as “they point out that Mr Abiy has also released thousands of prisoners in Ethiopia, showing that he was genuine about achieving national reconciliation with opposition groups,” BBC reports.

Eritrea: Limited release of religious prisoners; unclear bail conditions keep people imprisoned for years
Radio Erena reports that 400 religious prisoners have been released in Eritrea, but others state the numbers could be far lower. Release Eritrea reports that around 35 people imprisoned for their Christian faith have been released on bail from Mai-Sirwa Prison in Eritrea. However, this group of prisoners had filled out forms agreeing to not participate in meetings of their respective churches four and half years ago, but, unlike their fellow believers who had done that to secure release previously, they were granted a release some years afterwards.“Bail conditions are unclear and prisoners who were unable to fulfill those conditions still remain in prison,”Release Eritrea reports.

South Sudan: UN Security Council imposes arms embargo to protect civilians
The United Nations Security Council banned the flow of arms to South Sudan as a measure to prevent the flow of weapons to armed groups. The members who were in favor of the resolutionbelieve that, in this way, civilians will be protected, while the ones that abstained were concerned that this might hinder the peace process. “An arms embargo is one step, but implementation of the resolution needs a follow up from the Security Council to monitor even the black market dealers,” Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ) Executive Director Tito Anthony told Sudan Tribune.

Ethiopia: Ethiopians from Tigray region submit statement on the peace talks with Eritrea
A number of scholars and civic societies have submitted a statement on the developments between Ethiopia and Eritrea and a recommendation, expressing their willingness to assist in the peaceful settlement of the conflict. They recommend to “develop a clear, and comprehensive roadmap for resolution of the Ethio-Eritrean conflict after conducting a thorough study and broad-based consultations among key stakeholders including experts and needs to be clear and open to public scrutiny.”

Somalia: MAF can transform Somalia’s future, UN Chief of Political Affairs says
Officials from 58 countries and 6 international organizations adopted the Mutual Accountability Framework of the New Partnership for Somalia (MAF), which specifies the joint commitments of Somalia and its international partners in the areas of political reforms, security, economic development, recovery and humanitarian assistance. UN Political Affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo said that a new chapter which can potentially transform Somalia’s future has begun and reassured that the UN “is fully committed to Somalia’s future, and will support implementation of the plan.”The EU will also provide EUR 200 million to support stabilization in the country and EUR 114.2 million for the AU Mission to Somalia.


Spanish NGO finds dead people in the sea, says Libyan coastguard abandoned them
Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms shows, in a video, how their boat found three dead people who had been abandoned in the sea. They allege that the people have been abandoned by the Libyan coastguard. Oscar Camps, founder and director of the NGO, said that the Libyan boat was damaged and was abandoned 90 miles from the Libyan coast. “They don’t know how to manage an emergency situation, they arrived two days late and abandoned two women and a child in the wreckage of a ship that they themselves destroyed,” Camps said in a video, and further added that “this is the direct consequence of contracting armed militias to make the rest of Europe believe that Libya is a state, a government and a safe country.”

Libya: 8 found dead, 90 in critical condition after journey in shipping container
Eight migrants (including six children) were found dead about 110 from Tripoli, Libya’s capital, and 90 are in critical condition after they suffocated from petrol fumes in a truck container that was transferring them. “They had been locked inside a refrigerated container designed for transporting meat and fish that was found outside Zuwarah, close to the Mellitah oil and gas complex, about 110km from the capital, Tripoli,”Al Jazeera reports.


Switzerland: Eritrean national service ‘burden’, but insufficient as basis for asylum, Swill court rules
In a ruling published last week, the Swiss Court said that imposed national service in Eritrea is “places an excessive burden on citizens”, however ruled that it does not serve as a legally binding basis to prevent deportation of asylum seekers. Swiss media SWI further reported that the Swiss Court “also added that cases of abuse and sexual assault were not widespread enough to influence the assessment.”

EU: EP President visits Niger, sees developments as an example of EU’s success
President of the European Parliament (EP) Antonio Tajani recently visited Niger. In a statement, he discussed the 95% decrease in migration flows to Europe, which he characterized as “an example of the successes achieved by the European Union” financial support and cooperation with the region and urged for new financial assistance to continue operations.  He also said that the reform of the Dublin regulation is needed for the identification and even distribution of refugees among all EU countries. “It is unacceptable that of the 1,700 vulnerable refugees evacuated in Niger from Libya, only a few dozen have been accepted by a few EU countries,” said President Tajani.