News Highlights: Mass arrests of refugees in Libya, Ethiopian Airlines smuggled weapons into Eritrea, Warnings of new offensive in Tigray

In this week news highlights: Ethiopian Airlines smuggled weapons to Eritrea – CNN report; CNN report could lead to further US sanctions; New offensive in Tigray imminent as Abiy starts new term; European Parliament warns of sanctions in resolution; Further warnings of famine in Tigray; Whistleblower says Facebook fans the flames of ethnic violence in Ethiopia; Thousands of migrants and refugees arrested and imprisoned by Libyan authorities; Thousands intercepted and returned by Libyan coast guards; EU member state pushbacks under EU funded projects; 57 migrants and refugees drowned crossing the Canarian route; One death in fire in Italian migrant camp; Swiss parliament approved possibility to search asylum seekers’ personal devices ; 140 alleged smugglers arrested by Frontex; 18 people smugglers arrested in Romania; IOM report on missing migrants calls for governments’ support.

“A powerful tool of mass surveillance”: NGOs warn that proposed Eurodac reforms will fundamentally undermine the rights of migrants and refugees

33 NGOs, including EEPA, addressed an open letter to the Members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament, expressing concern regarding the amended proposal to revise the Eurodac Regulation. Eurodac is a database that records fingerprints of asylum seekers entering the European Union (EU). The amendment, formulated by the European Commission and published in September 2020, extends the database to include more biometric data, including of minors. The NGOs warn about the risk of erosion of the fundamental rights of migrants and asylum seekers that could result from this extension.