In this week’s news highlights: EEPA webinar discusses the widespread abuse of refugees happening in Tigray; Reports of chemical weapons entering Tigray; International community condemns widespread starvation in Tigray and warn of potential famine in Ethiopia; Ethiopia’s UN envoy stated that Eritrean soldiers will ‘leave soon’; BBC docu-film on the perilous journey of migrants from Ethiopia to Yemen; Human trafficker Tewelde Goitom (Welid) sentenced to 18 years in prison; Alarm Phone reports illegal pushbacks in Libya; Scotland’s Council extends ban on acceptance of refugees; Refugees sentenced to 10 years over Moria fire; Police bust human smuggling ring in North Macedonia; IOM project aims to make migration data more accessible.
The use of conscripted labour in EU projects and Eritrea’s engagement in committing human rights violations in the Tigray Region have prompted the European Commission (EC) to “de-commit” more than €100 million from eight upcoming Eritrean development projects. A letter written by Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, revealed that nine projects worth €141.3 million were initially approved for implementation through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) but due to concerns over Eritrea’s stance on human rights, only one project, valued at €19 million, was disbursed. This recent move has highlighted the friction within the EU’s “dual-track” approach to Eritrea which attempts to mix development assistance and political dialogue.
In this week’s news highlights: UNHCR confirms destruction of refugee camps in Ethiopia; Reports of forced displacement of Tigrayans in western Tigray region by Amhara troops; Report of meeting between Eritrean and Ethiopian senior officials and foreign experts in Tigray; Kenya aims to close two refugee camps housing Somali refugees; Joint EU-IOM plan for returning migrants from Libya to Horn of Africa and other countries; IOM appeals for $99 million for migrants stranded in Yemen; Around 1000 migrants intercepted and forced to return to Libya; Spanish NGO rescues more than 200 migrants and refugees at sea; IOM report on high number of deaths at sea; EU to consider visa restrictions for 13 African and Middle East countries; EU Commissioner calls on Greece to investigate allegations of illegal pushbacks; Drones used for surveillance on migrants and refugees at EU external borders; Angela Merkel approves the EU-Turkey deal on migration; and IOM analysis on benefits of migration on communities.