In this week’s news highlights: Mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea extended by one year; Eritrea says peace deal with Ethiopia insufficient; Petition launched to urge UN to prevent starvation in Eritrea; FGM banned in Sudan amidst political reform; Tensions mount as Ethiopia starts to fill up controversial dam reservoir; Measures in Greece threathen to force thousands of refugees into homelessness; German states to take in refugee families; EU’s proposal for externalized asylum centers to feature in migration pact; EU’s far reaching surveillance apparatus for foreigners; EU to cooperate more with Africa to curb human trafficking; Libya’s LNA invites Egyptian military intervention; More displacement and COVID-19 in Libya; and COVID-19 is fuelling global hunger.
Letters by Human Rights Concern Eritrea and Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights ask for the immediate release of five detained Eritreans in Cairo, Egypt. The five were arrested on July 21, 2019, and are held in an undisclosed location without access to legal representation. The detained are part of a group of around 500 Eritreans who demonstrated peacefully against alleged mismanagement and corruption by Cairo’s UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) office. Their trial is set today (7 August 2019).
The European Union (EU), in order to stem migration, has made deals with Northern African countries like Libya. The latest plan is that Egypt will be the new partner of the EU in helping to decrease the movement of migrants and refugees towards Europe. The collaboration with Libya has faced criticism from international organizations and the civil society as migrants and refugees become trapped in inhumane conditions. The UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has also characterized the EU’s policy of helping Libyan authorities in detaining migrants as “inhuman”. Collaboration with Egypt faces its own critical assessments, as it is a country with dubious human rights records.