News Highlights: Ethiopian, Somali and Eritrean Ministers meet, Fishermen face trial for sea rescue, Situation Libya “untenable”

In this week’s news highlights: Ministers from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea meet in Asmara, then travel to Djibouti; Events Ethiopia-Eritrea lined up; Ethiopians and Eritreans meet at the border; Book by former finance minister said to expose Eritrean president; Demonstration in Geneva demands full peace in Eritrea; Exhibition ‘Eritrea in the News’ opens in London; Human Rights Watch expresses concerns over Sudan ahead of UN Human Rights Council; UN Special Representative concerned over violence in Libya; 6 Fishermen stand trial in Italy after rescuing migrant boat; Recent mixed migration research published; and UNICEF warns that it has little data on child migrants and refugees in Spain.

Greater Horn of Africa

Ministers from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea travel to Djibouti
A report from EritreaHub covers a Tweet by Eritrean minister Yemane Gebremeskel that ministers from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea will travel to Djibouti, after having met in Asmara yesterday. Eritrea also reports a joint declaration of cooperation between the three countries. Ethiopia and Somalia have urged Eritrea to end the border dispute with Djibouti. It was also reported that Ethiopia has reopened its embassy in Asmara, Eritrea.

Ethiopia-Eritrea: The events lined up
A long article on Eritrea Digest argues that Eritrea and Ethiopia are on the way to forming a confederation. The article lists in detail the events that occurred in the last months, leading up to the peace agreement and after.

Ethiopia-Eritrea: Eritreans and Ethiopians meet at border
Prof. Kjetil Tronvoll reports on a major reconciliation event between Eritreans and Ethiopians at the border at Zalambessa. Artists from both countries were invited to perform. Many Eritreans in the Tigray area participated, but Prof. Tronvoll stated that unfortunately, Eritreans inside Eritrea were not allowed to cross the border by the Eritrean military.

Eritrea: Former finance minister of Eritrea writes book exposing president Isaias
Berhane Abrehe, ex-minister of finance in Eritrea, has written a book of 450 pages which reportedly exposes Eritrean president Isaias Afeworki. The book, “Hagerey Ertra” (Eritrea, My Country), will be printed in the Eritrean diaspora. Berhane’s wife is in jail and he reportedly refuses to flee Eritrea. An English summary of the book is not yet available.

Eritrea: Eritreans protest in Geneva for full peace in Eritrea
On 31 August, Eritreans held a demonstration in Geneva. The protesters welcomed the peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia, but called for concrete improvements in the country, such as implementation of the constitution and freeing of political prisoners.

Eritrea: ‘Eritrea in the News’ exhibition opens in London
An exhibition on the history of Eritrea from the colonial days to the current situation has opened in London. It consists of photos that tell the story of Eritrea over the years. The exhibition is organized by Eritrea Focus and can be seen at ‘Resources for London’ until 30 September 2018.

Sudan: Human Rights Watch expresses concern over human rights in Sudan
In a letter directed to the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch expresses concern over various topics, such as attacks on the media, ill-treatment by officials and restrictions on independent civil society.

North Africa

Libya: UN Special Representative warns of “untenable” situation in Libya
The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) warned the UN Security Council that the current situation in Libya is “untenable”. In the violence of the past weeks, official numbers state that 61 Libyans have died, many of them civilians and children. Although the UNSMIL reports that it has achieved a ceasefire agreement, the Special Representative warns that more help is needed from the Council to prevent further chaos.


Italy: Tunisian fishermen face trial after saving migrants and refugees at sea
6 fishermen from Tunisia have been accused of smuggling people in Italy. The men were arrested by Italian police after they had been spotted towing a small boat with refugees and migrants, which was in distress, to Italian waters. The fishermen state they alerted the Italian coastguard. Hundreds of Tunisians gathered to protest the arrests. The fishermen are well known for saving lives at sea and bringing human remains back to shore for a dignified burial.

KPRSL platform publishes newsletter on mixed migration research
In a newsletter, the Knowledge Platform for Security and Rule of Law (KPSRL) and NWO-WOTRO published the conclusions of their applied research fund, with the theme of the call ‘mixed migration flows’. The platform showcased a wide range of research reports on mixed migration from the MENA region to the Horn of Africa. Research on trauma and mixed migration in the Horn of Africa which EEPA was involved was featured as well.

UNICEF warns of data gap in Western Mediterranean Route
issued a report warning that there is a large data gap concerning children travelling along the Western Mediterranean Route. UNICEF states that the mixed migration flows towards Spain have increased dramatically, but the exact number of migrant and refugee children currently residing in Spain is unknown – thus constricting the organisation’s ability to provide adequate care.