In this week’s news highlights: IOM launches COVID-19 response plan in the East and Horn of Africa; UN Solidarity Flights from Ethiopia; Surge of returnees to Ethiopia; Al-Fashaqa region returns to Sudanese sovereignty, says anonymous informant; Food shortage due to desert locust in the Horn; Eritrean priest wants to help migrants and refugees fleeing Libya; Stampede for food aid in Kenya; KIU adopts online education system: EU countries taking in unaccompanied minors from Greek camps; Malta urged to take in rescued migrants; Controversy around Italy’s quarantining of migrants; European states urged to allow refugee health workers to help; Belgium COVID-19 measure allows asylum seekers to work; Worries about missing migrant ship in Mediterranean; Migrants and refugees flee Tripoli’s quarantined port; And Libyan government (GNA) takes back control over three cities.
The preamble of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, an instrument applicable to all member states of the European Union (EU) when implementing EU law, holds that “the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity,” centralising the idea that EU member states must protect human life. Yet, several Southern European Member States have criminalised search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Mediterranean Sea and charged the rescue operations with the criminal act of smuggling. Therefore, the operators face years in prison if convicted. At the same time, the EU has closed down its own SAR operations, relying on its deals with the Libyan coast guard to intercept boats.
In this week’s news highlights: The situation in Libya is “a race against time”; Children in Libya are vulnerable and lack protection; IOM wants a different approach in Libya; Overturned boat causes deaths in the Mediterranean Sea; Commissioner for Human Rights addresses human rights violations in the Mediterranean Sea; MSF urges the EU to act on conditions in refugee camps; Greece meets criticism after plans of closing camps; UNDP argues for more evidence-based migration policies; Sidama people in Ethiopia vote in favour of self-governing rights; Prime Minister of Sudan visits Eritrea; US retrieves Ambassador in South Sudan in light of the country failing to form government; and Video allegedly shows military arresting people in Eritrea.