News Highlights: Record 23,000 refugees returned to Libya in 2021, NGOs warn of mass surveillance of refugees, Tigray facing famine

In this week’s highlights: The Elders address UNSC on Tigray; Refugees in Ethiopia approved for resettlement refused departure in Addis, say witnesses; UN urges opening of Tigray for aid; 29 Tigrayan bodies found in the river between Sudan and Ethiopia; 5,000 Ethiopian migrants blocked in Yemen; Ethiopia’s competing alliances; Over 23,000 refugees returned to Libya this year; More than 10,000 refugees attempted to cross from Tunisia to Italy; NGOs warn that extension of fingerprint database is a threat to refugee privacy; UK may push back refugees crossing the Channel; Migrants stuck at the EU-Belarus border facing dire conditions; Migrants and refugees arrested on unlawful reentry charges in Italy; Asylum seekers in Lesbos living in precarious temporary camp; and Education of refugee children “now under threat”.

News Highlights: Aid in Tigray critically low, Deaths of more aid workers discovered, EU to further outsource refugee hosting

In this week’s highlights: No humanitarian aid entered Tigray since 20 August; Deaths of 11 more aid workers discovered in Tigray; United Nations Security Council closed session on situation in Tigray; Joint UN/EHRC investigation has finalised, report to be published soon; USAID accuses TPLF and all warring parties of looting aid warehouses; Economic sanctions not enough to stop human rights abuses, says WP; Oromo Liberation Army accused by EHRC of killing 150 people; Over 380,000 people displaced in South Sudan due to heavy flooding; Sudan government launches plan to stop human trafficking; EU relying on third parties to host Afghan refugees; Poland in state of emergency due to refugee crossings; Survivors in boat rescue from Libya appear to have been tortured; Refugee assaults continue in Germany; Teen refugee electrocuted near Italy/France border; IOM develops tools for child returnees.

Webinar Voices from Tigray: Brutalities against Religious leaders, Holy Places and Heritage in Tigray

On 8 June 2021, the webinar “Brutalities against Religious leaders, Holy Places and Heritage in Tigray Confirmation” took place in the framework of the webinar series “Voices from Tigray”. The aim of this online meeting was to give a platform to testimonies of witnesses, describing the large-scale destruction and looting of cultural and religious heritage that occurred during the conflict in the Tigray region. Furthermore, religious leaders and local priests reported brutalities, atrocities and massacres against civilians, including religious leaders, that took place in holy sites, such as in the Maryam Tsion Church, in the Al-Nejash Mosque and in the Debre Damo monastery. After having listened to various witness testimonies, speakers called on the international community to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to push for the withdrawal of external troops from Tigray, by imposing sanctions; as well as support the reconstruction and recovery of the religious, cultural and historic heritage destroyed and looted during the conflict. Finally, experts reiterated the need for free access of humanitarian aid to the Tigray region.

Webinar proceedings (including all testimonies) can be found here: webinar proceedings.