The year of 2019: border control, evacuations from Libya and the search for solidarity

In this last article of the year, it is time to look back at some of the events of the past year in the context of forced movement along the Central Mediterranean Route. In 2019, approximately 1,246 people died in the Mediterranean Sea, and even more on land, during their journey to safety. It was a year in which the European Union secured and externalised its borders, making it harder for asylum seekers to enter Europe. It was also another year in which migrants and refugees in Libya were facing inhumane conditions that continue to be unaddressed. Responsibility sharing was a main topic of discussion among EU member states. In addition, a new relocation system was put in place, Salvini made his exit as Italian deputy Prime Minister, and the criminalization of rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea did not stop NGOs from saving lives.

News Highlights: Eritrea round-ups of youth increase, reports of Sudan troops in Libya, deadly shipwreck at Libyan coast

In this week’s news highlights: Round-ups (Giffas) of youth for national service in Eritrea; Eritrean catholic church disputes government claims over health clinic seizure; Concerns over stalled Eritrea/Ethiopia trade; School students killed in Sudan protest; 115 people feared dead in Libyan shipwreck, survivors returned to Libya; Sudanese militia reportedly deployed in Libya; Refugees remain in detention after protest Egypt; UK detained victims of trafficking; 5 EU countries agree to resettle 116 stranded refugees and migrants; and law professor argues why ICC should move to prosecute the EU.

News highlights: Refugees fear UNHCR investigation, EU elaborates on ‘disembarkation centres’, 18-month national service limit may arrive

In this week’s news highlights: news highlights on summer break; Indefinite national service for new Eritrean recruits may be limited, but diaspora remains cautious; Refugees fear lack of protection in UNHCR investigation in Sudan; Eritrean refugees in Sudan are losing faith in UNHCR; Report on Ethiopian man wrongfully deported from UK; New South Sudan peace deal met with scepticism; Somalia to prosecute in case of 10-year-old dying from FGM; European Commission elaborates on ‘controlled centres’ and ‘disembarkation centres’; European Commission defends development-migration fund link; MSF warns EU to stop return of migrants to Libya.