In this week’s highlights: 54,000 flee homes in Afar as Tigray conflict develops; WFP suspends operations via Semera into Tigray; IOM appeals for 40 million USD to assist 2 million people in Northern Ethiopia; Gender based violence increasing in Sudan; 17 refugees dead and 380 rescued in shipwreck off Tunisian coast; 476 migrants and refugees end mass hunger strike in Brussels; France and Britain agree to crackdown on migrants and refugees attempting to cross the Channel; NGOs demand Europe cease deportations to Afghanistan; Italy/Slovenia border patrols to resume; Three refugees die in a fire in France.
Between May 26 and May 28 Ethiopian militias backed by the Ethiopian army reportedly clashed with the Sudanese army along the border. One Sudanese child and one military commander were killed while three civilians and six soldiers were wounded. The violence has resulted in a diplomatic row between the two governments, who were preparing a second joint committee meeting to discuss the demarcation of their common border. Although both countries say they seek a diplomatic outcome to the incident, tensions are high. A Sudanese spokesman told Al-Arabiya news that “[a]ll options are open if the Ethiopian aggression persist… We have sent reinforcements to the border to prevent any violations. The involvement of the Ethiopian armed forces in the recent assaults was evident.” An increased militarized border combined with an apparent willingness for violence could escalate border tensions even further.
In this week’s news highlights: Border between Eritrea and Ethiopia is closed, but refugees continue to escape; Eritrea summons UNHCR over return conditions for refugees as fears over ‘voluntary’ return of Eritreans remains; Sudan protests continue, as AU extends – again – the deadline for transfer of power; EU delegation visits Khartoum; US lobbyists helped South Sudan to battle sanctions; Meeting in Ethiopia to revitalise peace agreement South Sudan; More details on militia group attack of detention center in Libya; Libyan Coast guard stops safe and rescue operations amid fighting, says NGO; Ride4Justice demands safety for refugees in Libya; Migrants in the suburbs of Dunkirk kept away from emergency accommodation; Italy takes 146 evacuees from fighting in Libya; and Germany postpones decisions on asylum for some Syrians.