News Highlights: UNHCR’s operation in Libya investigated, Operation Sophia extended, First evacuations from Libya to Rwanda

In this week’s news highlights: UNHCR in Libya accused of neglect and mismanagement in 4-part investigation; First group of people evacuated from Libya to Rwanda; Returnees flee after arrival in Libya; IOM urges closure of Tajoura detention centre; New Country of Origin Information on Eritrea confirms no change in human rights; RSF accused of pressuring the European Union; Bad conditions at Shagarab Camp in Sudan; Belgian and Eritrean Catholic Church representatives meet in Belgium; Three Jehovah’s Witnesses imprisoned for 25 years in Eritrea; Operation Sophia continues for an additional six months; Two people die in a fire at Greek refugee camp; Greece calls for help from other EU member states and Frontex; and Germany strengthens random checks at borders.

NGO search and rescue missions face increasing challenges on the Mediterranean Sea – Sea Watch 3 vessel still blocked

Twenty days after entering the port of Catania in Italy, the Sea Watch 3 rescue ship remains in one of the Sicily’s ports, as the inspection of the Dutch authorities requested further maintenance of the ship in order to ensure “the ship’s conformity to regulations in force”. The ship has been kept in the port by the Italian Coast Guard since the first inspection on 31 January 2019. Kim Heaton-Heather, who is responsible for the search-and-rescue operations of the Sea Watch 3, says that by blocking the vessel, the Dutch authorities fuel the anti-migrant sentiment that has been spreading among EU’s political powers, which intensifies the anxiety of refugees aiming to reach a safe country.