Media Listing March 2015

Global

 Global map of migration trends: Compiled from United Nations data from 2013 showing popular destination for migrants from each country. (Vox Media- 09/03/15)

A safer path to asylum [Opinion]: The policies currently in place in the European Union and by its member states are responsible for the plight of migrants who die attempting to cross the Mediterranean. The discussion of the Mediterranean migrant crisis needs to be separated from the broader EU immigration debate and the proper context of the discussion is the countries obligations under international refugee law. (Project Syndicate – 17/03/15)

Outsourcing Asylum: In this article, lessons from Australia’s offshore processing of asylum seekers are reviewed in light of the European Union’s proposal to outsource asylum screening to North Africa. (IRIN – 17/03/15)

Number of Asylum-Seekers jumped by 45% in 2014: The number of asylum-seekers in industrialized countries rose by nearly half last year, driven by the devastating conflicts in Syria and Iraq. (Israel National News – 26/03/15)

IOM recommendations to post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations: The international Organization for Migration states that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda will not be complete without addressing contemporary human mobility. The three specific recommendations are: improving the quality of human mobility through well-managed migration policies, inclusion of displacement among issues related to peaceful and inclusive societies in addition to addressing human trafficking in a comprehensive manner and placement of an indicator on cost of remittances. (News Hour – 29/03/15)

Sudanese Hollywood star named UNHCR Ambassador: Former Sudanese child soldier Ger Duany, now famed actor and model, was named as a UNHCR Ambassador. (All Africa – 09/03/15)

The importance of recognizing refugees’ right to freedom of movement [Blog]: The article elaborates on the principle of freedom of movement in the context of encampment policies and practices. (International Refugee Rights Initiative – 25/03/15)

West Chester filmmaker driven to tell Eritreans’ story: The Eritrean Exodus is an upcoming film that aims to highlight the state of affairs in Eritrea as well as raise awareness on the human rights abuses leading many Eritreans to seek asylum. (Washington Times – 04/03/15)

Djibouti

From a Djibouti refugee camp to sanctuary in Canada: The article details the harsh conditions faced by refugees living in Ali Addeh refugee camp as told by Hailu Gebre an Ethiopian refugee who immigrated to Canada in 2000. The process of resettling families nevertheless is long as the case of Yimer Hassen Mohammed and his family describes, that has taken 8 years. (Toronto Star – 29/03/15)

Egypt

Egypt's jailed refugees caught between hope and despair: The article details the plight of refugees held in detention in Egypt on charges of infiltration of Egypt’s borders. According to figures from the Sweden-based Centre for Refugee Solidarity the 89 detainees at Karmouz include 16 Syrians, 58 Palestinian-Syrians and 15 Somalis some of whom have been there as long as 7 months. (Middle East Eye – 10/03/15)

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia vows zero tolerance on illegal labour migrants: The Ministries of Labour and the Interior declared a zero tolerance stance on violations of labour and residency laws. Illegal employment of foreigners and improper registration are among the violations targeted with fines of up to $27,000. (AFP- 09/03/15)

Over 1000 immigrants arrested daily: In the latest crackdown on violators of migration laws, Saudi Arabia has arrested on average 1,250 migrants daily, according to a senior police officer. Furthermore in the past 5 months about 11,000 people have been imprisoned for violating labour and residency laws. (News Teller- 12/03/15)

Thousands of residency violators arrested daily: According to the Assistant Director of Public Security, Major General Jamaan Al-Ghamdi, 4,000 violators of residency and labour laws are being detained daily since the crackdown started on March 8 with a decrease in the number of infiltrators along the southern border. (Saudi Gazette – 12/03/15)

New security plan established to address illegal migrants: The province of Uhud Rafeeda has developed a plan to crack down on migrants living in mountain areas and valleys in the province. The migrants choose to live in mountainous areas to avoid detection by authorities. The plan will be implemented through cooperation of various government agencies, sheikhs of tribes and citizens. (Arab News- 24/03/15)

Saudi Arabia moves towards a future without expatriate workers [Opinion]: The article looks at the possible implications of the Saudi governments plans to decreasing its reliance on expatriate workers. Among the recent responses being the latest crackdown on violators of residency and labour laws coupled with introduction of ‘Musanned ‘(domestic labour e-portal) and ‘Dorob’ (National initiative sponsored by the Human Resources Development Fund to assist employers, employees and jobseekers in meeting the demands of the Saudi labor market). Both are meant to bridge the gap between during the transition towards a nationalized workforce. (The National – 18/03/15)

Europe

The Migration Opportunity [Opinion]: The article by the Special representative of the UN Secretary General for International Migration and Development, Peter Sutherland looks at the challenge faced by Europe in the face of increasing migration influxes. In particular he calls upon the EU to enact a robust sea rescue mission and establish a new, legal and safe means for migrants crossing the Mediterranean together with African countries. (Project Syndicate- 02/03/15)

Decline in Danish asylum figures: Following a review of its immigration laws in 2014, Denmark has seen the number of asylum seekers in January reduce to 626 compared to 3,150 in September according to data released by the Danish Immigration Service. Among the changes made was the introduction of a renewable, temporary one year residence permit which does not allow for family reunifications. (The Local- 04/03/15)

Challenges to Mediterranean security include irregular migration: The Environment and Renewable Energies Minister stated climate change, terrorism and food insecurity are the foremost challenges to security. He called for a critical assessment of regional cooperation and creative regional initiatives. (The Malta Independent-03/03/15)

Dresden asylum camp cleared after neo-Nazi attack: Following a rally by the right wing PEGIDA movement, about 100 people flocked towards the camp demanding for removal of the asylum seekers. A counter protest was held by local refugees and 500 supporters of “Asylum Movement”, “Dresden for All” and “Dresden Nazi Free”. (Deutsche Welle – 03/03/15)

EU ministers fail to reach agreement on proposals for asylum seekers: The proposal to be presented in May aims to set up centres in North Africa and the Middle East to facilitate claims for asylum and resettlement from third countries. Thus far there is lack of a common position among EU member states to the proposal which will “dismantle a huge human trafficking market” according to the Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano. (The Independent – 12/03/15)

UNHCR unveils proposals to address mixed migration in the Mediterranean: The Central Mediterranean Sea Initiative sent to the European Union seeks to deal with the challenges of thousands of refugees and migrants attempting to cross into Europe.  The proposals include establishment of a robust search and rescue operation, compensation for shipping companies for losses during rescue and addressing challenges faced by refugees once they reach Europe. (UNHCR Press Releases – 12/03/15)

EU considering plan to outsource Mediterranean migrant patrols to Africa: In a proposal tabled by the Italian Government, the EU would outsource migrant patrols to countries such as Egypt and Tunisia. The migrants would then be taken to ports of the rescuing country or returned to their country of origin. (The Guardian – 20/03/15)

EU explores new migration ‘zone’ in North Africa: The EU Migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos is to visit Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco to create a zone aimed at fighting smuggling and irregular migration. Earlier in March, a proposal for setting up special immigration attaches in EU delegations to handle asylum requests in the country of origin was presented. (EU Observer – 13/03/15)

European Commission makes progress on European agenda on migration: The European Commission launched a comprehensive agenda on migration and a first orientation debate to step up efforts and implement existing tools and cooperation. The four main areas envisaged for action are: a strong common Asylum system, a new European policy on legal migration, combatting irregular migration and human trafficking more robustly and securing Europe’s external borders. (European Commission Press Releases – 04/03/15)

EU migration plan “dangerously incomplete”: An analysis of the four main areas of the comprehensive European Agenda on Migration namely a strengthened common European Asylum system, a new European policy on legal migration, enhancing the fight against irregular migration and trafficking and securing Europe’s external borders. Among the omissions in the plan according to Amnesty International is the absence of an EU wide search and rescue mission. (IRIN- 06/03/15)

Uncertainty over alleged changes to Greek migrant policy: An earlier document stating a change in policy of migrants from detention to renewable permits was withdrawn by the Deputy Citizen Protection Minister, Yiannis Panousis. According to the Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis, the Ministries of Immigration and Citizen Protection were not the source of the document which had only been authorized by a police official.  (Greek Reporter – 04/03/15)

Migrant detention center evacuation continues with mixed results: The operation to release migrants from the Amygdaleza migrant detention center began on March 1st and despite the initial priority having been families, elderly persons, pregnant women, unaccompanied minors, victims of torture and asylum seekers, there are still vulnerable groups detained in the center. Most migrants have gathered in downtown Athens and have settled down on the streets. Tasia Christodoulopoulou, the Deputy Citizen Protection Minister cited that the decision to release migrants into downtown Athens was that of the police. (Greek Reporter – 05/03/15)  

‘Greece can’t handle more migrants’: The statement by the Greek Deputy Minister for Citizen Protection, Giannis Panousis, was in response to the recent waves of illegal migrants, which are expected to increase over the summer months and he hinted at a possible review of the decision to close migrant detention centers. (Greek Reporter – 28/03/15)

Joint operational team launched to combat irregular migration in the Mediterranean: The establishment of a Joint Operations Team (JOT Mare) is a response to the influx of irregular migrants via the Mediterranean with the facilitation of organized criminal groups. These same groups are linked to other transnational crimes including human and narcotics trafficking, terrorism and firearms smuggling. The proactive law enforcement response will build on Europol’s capabilities in investigation and support member states in launching independent investigations. (Europol Press Release – 17/03/15) 

EU police Agency ‘Europol’ launches team to tackle migrant smuggling: The team was tasked to crack down on the organized criminal groups that are responsible for smuggling thousands of migrants across North Africa into Europe. They will do so by sharing intelligence gathered by Frontex (EU border agency), Interpol and police forces of EU member states. In 2014, according to Europol, 220,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean and a further 3000 died. In 2015, over a thousand have already lost their lives making the crossing. (San Diego Union-Tribune- 17/03/15)

EU sea mission braces for record year of Mediterranean migrants: In the first two months of 2015, boat arrivals have one up compared to the same period in 2014 by 43% and over 600 deaths recorded versus 100 in the same period last year. (Reuters – 20/03/15)

EU must do more to save migrant lives: According to Peter Sutherland, the UN special representative on migration, a majority of the EU states have failed to adequately respond to the most urgent humanitarian challenges of our time. (The Irish Times – 08/03/15)

Sanctuary Churches- German pastors say they won’t let refugees be sent back to persecution: There are at least 411 refugees under the protection of 222 Catholic and Protestant churches according to the German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum. The practice is based on custom and not German law and is respected by the authorities. (Christian Today – 16/03/15)

When is a migrant a refugee, asks National Theatre of Scotland: The question is raised in the play “Last Dream”. Personally, I don't make the distinction between a refugee and a migrant," explains Kai Fischer, a stage designer-turned-theatre maker. In researching for his piece, he travelled to the Italian island of Lampedusa and Malta, both destinations for many migrants trying to reach the European mainland. (The Herald – 22/03/15)

EU Interior Ministers debate asylum influx: Interior Ministers from EU states are in discussion over the establishment of transit camps in North Africa for asylum seekers headed for Europe and meant to reduce the migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. Under the proposal, the UN refugee agency, would run the transit camps, where asylum-seekers would wait while their applications for asylum in Europe were assessed. (Deutsche Welle – 12/03/15)      

UN report shows Germany tops overall list for asylum bids: This is according to the report compiled by UNHCR of 44 industrialized countries. Germany received 173,000 application of the 866,000 with Eritrea featuring as one of the main source of applicants. (Deutsche Welle – 26/03/15) 

Huddled masses of Africans, Asians and Middle Easterners use 4 routes to European Union: The poorest and most desperate travelers of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the journey often takes months by sea or land, with payments to trafficking gangs.  The four smuggling routes listed in order of popularity in 2014 were; central Mediterranean, eastern Mediterranean, western Balkans and the western Mediterranean. (CTV – 03/03/15)

Common asylum policy is long-term solution to irregular migration: According to the EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avaramopoulos, the policy would provide a legal guarantee of solidarity across all EU member states. (Times of Malta – 26/03/15)

EU should ‘open the gates’ to Eritrean refugees [opinion]: In this opinion piece by Barbara Lochbihler, vice-chair of the European parliament's human rights subcommittee, she calls for European states to increase their help to victims of ‘virulent human rights abuses’ in Eritrea. (The Parliament Magazine – 31/03/15)

Statement on EU asylum and aid policy to Eritrea: The statement signed by various stakeholders including academics and journalists, calls for the European Commission to put on hold its preparations for an aid package to the Eritrean government until such time that the UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea has been given full and unfettered access to Eritrea and for all governments to observe the principle of non-refoulement of Eritrean refugees. (European External Policy Advisors – 31/03/15)

Ethiopia

UNHCR begins relocation of 50,000 South Sudan refugees: The relocation from the flood prone Western part of Ethiopia was in readiness for the rains expected in late April from Leitchuor and Nip Nip refugee camps in the Gambella region. The relocation was to Pugnido camp which had been hosting 56,000 South Sudanese and was been extended to accommodate the additional numbers. Refugees relocated from Leitchour were moved to a new camp Jewi. (UNHCR- 17/03/15)

Tackling illegal migration in Ethiopia is pivotal: The statements were made by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office Director of Migration, James Sharp in Addis Ababa in a lecture on current issues associated with smuggling and trafficking. The increasing prevalence of South to South migration such as Ethiopians migrating to the Arabian Peninsula was highlighted as well as migration into Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. (Addis Standard – 16/03/15)

Ethiopian migrants returned from Yemen: The 46 migrants were intercepted in Yemen while trying to cross the border into Saudi Arabia and had been detained in Yemen from three to seven months in Jawaza. All of the 46 were unaccompanied minors (UAMs) aged between 12 – 17 years. In 2015 IOM has assisted 215 migrants majority being UAMs. (News Hour – 29/03/15)

Eritrea

Dangerous journey for kids escaping Eritrea: In this BBC documentary, the plight of minors fleeing from national service and the perilous journey they make across the desert on their way to Europe. (BBC- 02/03/15)

UN inquiry into Eritrea releases interim report: In the interim report delivered at the Human Rights Council, the Chairman of the Commission Mike Smith said the investigation found “very clear patterns” of human rights abuses in Eritrea in a news release. The written report of the findings of the four month investigation will be released in June 2015. (UN Press Release – 16/03/15)

Refugees in fear of persecution in Norway: Eritreans in asylum have claimed that backers of the government in Eritrea are granted asylum and report back on the activities of Eritrean refugees. (ILPI – 16/03/15)

Eritreans flee camps but find they’re in psychological prisons: In the article, the dangers faced by Eritreans is explained from the testimony of Temesghen Debesai, a TV journalist living in exile. Among the risks is the presence of traffickers who imprison many Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees as well as the fear of reprisals against their families in Eritrea for speaking out against the regime. (Mail & Guardian – 18/03/15)

Sound of Torture [Documentary]: In this Al Jazeera film, the journey of Eritreans crossing the Sinai into Israel and the stories of those whose family members are abducted for ransom is told. The film features an interview with Meron Estefanos a Swedish based Eritrean journalist and human rights activist. (Al Jazeera – 18/03/15)

EU hopes to curb exodus from Eritrea through development aid: the EU hopes that development aid will stem the exodus if Eritreans attempting the dangerous journey to Europe. The EU would try to address social and economic exclusion in migrants' countries of origin in a bid to halt the crisis. Eritrea is now the second largest source of migrants arriving in Italy. (Thompson Reuters Foundation – 24/03/15)

‘Sadly nobody cares about Africans’ [Documentary]: The Swedish based Eritrean activist documented her efforts to rescue Eritreans held hostage in the Sinai. (Al Jazeera – 19/03/15)

Eritrea blighted by 'ruthless repression' and human rights violations, says UN:  Human rights abuses and poor economic prospects, are driving hundreds of Eritreans out of the country every day. As per UNHCR’s 2014 mid-year statistics more than 300,000 had fled Eritrea. This is according to an interim report by the UN’s commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea released on 16 March. (The Guardian – 19/03/15)

Israel

Asylum seekers deported from Israel face torture and persecution: According to a report by human rights groups in Israel, some of the asylum seekers who left Israel under the “Voluntary departure” program have reported to have been imprisoned, tortured or persecuted in Sudan. Furthermore the third countries of return including Rwanda and Uganda do not provide adequate protection to asylum seekers once they arrive. (Haaretz-10/03/15)

Illegal immigrants responsible for rise in crime: According to a letter to the High Court by Tel Aviv residents, in support of the Anti-Infiltration Law, the influx of illegal immigrants is responsible for increase in insecurity. Referring to the Danish Immigration Service report published last year finding that Eritrean asylum seekers do not qualify for refugee status, the Israeli Immigration Policy Center Director added that the High Court’s ruling against the Anti-Infiltrator law negates the hopes of the residents. (Israel National News-10/03/15)

Infiltrators to be jailed if they refuse deportation: Israel announced a new policy offering detainees at Holot detention facility departure within 30 days to a “safe third country” other than their country of origin. For those who decline to leave a hearing will be held to determine whether to imprison them for failure to cooperate with attempts to expel them. (Israel National News-31/03/15)

Another asylum seeker baby dies at daycare [Audio]:  A four-month-old baby, the daughter of two Eritrean asylum seekers, died on Friday in what is the fourth fatality in over two months. According to Maya Peleg, director of UNITAF, there are over 70 sub-standard day care centers that are understaffed with roughly one caregiver for 50 children. (TLV1 Radio – 29/03/15)

Israel will deport refugees to Africa under new policy:  A new policy of the Israel Population and Immigration Authority will deport Eritrean and Sudanese refugees to third countries in Africa. (Hareetz – 31/03/15)

Infiltrators to be jailed if they refuse deportation: A new policy offering immigrants detained at Holot detention facility a deal to leave Israel to a ‘safe third country’ was approved by the Interior minister Gilad Erdan. Migrants will have 30 days to leave and if they decline, a hearing will be held to determine if he is to go to prison. The deal will be accompanied with a $3,500 ‘exit stipend’. (Israel National News – 31/03/15)

Kenya

Ethiopians arrested in police raid: At least 16 Ethiopians were arrested by police in Nairobi on March 5th for being in the country without valid documents. The Ethiopians claimed they were on their way to South Africa in search for employment.  (The Standard- 06/03/15)

Integrated Population Register launched: Kenya launched the Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS) which will contain data from registration agencies such as the Civil Registration Department, National Registration Bureau, Department of Immigration and the Department of Refugee Affairs. According to Interior Ministry sources, data from 300,000 refugees has been entered into the system. (All Africa- 12/03/15)

Kenya to build a wall on Somali border to keep out Al-Shabaab [Analysis]: Kenya plans to build a wall along sections of its porous border with Somalia. The wall will be in response to increasing attacks from Al shabaab militants and to keep out illegal immigrants from Somalia. (The Guardian – 02/03/15)

Proposal to integrate refugees with other Kenyans tabled [video]: The Kenya Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights has given proposals to the Refugees Bill 2015. Following a fact finding mission to Dadaab refugee camp, one of the proposals included integration of refugees and providing them with necessary documentation. (Kenya Television Network – 17/03/15)

Parliamentary Human Rights' Association want Refugees Bill 2015 enacted [video]: The Kenya Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights is planning proposals to table a Refugees Bill in Parliament that will address the issues of possible integration of refugees in the country and curb registration of citizens as refugees. (Citizen Kenya TV – 17/03/15)

Group gives refugees in Kakuma toilets, then turns the waste into charcoal: Sanivation, which is an initiative based off a research conducted from Emory and Georgia Tech, uses the waste matter to make cooking charcoal and has installed over 30 toilets and serves over 300 people.(Huffington Post – 26/03/15)

Student excels at Angelina Jolie Pitt-funded girls school in Kenya camp:  Naomi Chol, a South Sudanese refugee scored the highest marks in the District Kakuma refugee camp is located in the 2014 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination. Today, some 250 girls study in the school, including refugees from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Burundi and Uganda as well as some girls from the host community. (UNHCR – 27/03/15)

Kenya cited as a centre of human trafficking: According to the report Migration in Kenya: A Country Profile 2015, commissioned by the Department of Immigration, Kenya is a major regional hub for human trafficking, serving as a source, destination and transit country for victims. (Daily Nation – 31/03/15)

Libya

Drowning for freedom - Libya’s Migrant Jails: In part one of a three part series, the journey of migrants to across the Mediterranean is documented and the dangers that they face at sea during migration. (Vice News – 17/03/15)

Trapped and Forgotten – Libya’s Migrant Jails: The documentary,  the second in a three part series, gives an inside look at what goes on in a migrant detention facility and delivers migrant testimonies of abuse and violations. (Vice News – 18/03/15)

Escaping Hell – Libya’s Migrant jails: The documentary, which is the third in the series, details the hardships of migrant communities and speaks to a survivor of the journey to Europe who talks of the true cost and tragedy of crossing the Mediterranean Sea. (Vice News – 20/03/15)

Dozens of migrants rescued by Tunisian military:  The Tunisian military rescued 86 migrants at sea off the coastal town of Zarzis on 3rd March. The migrants were headed towards Lampedusa from the Libyan port of Zuwarah about 60 kilometers from Tunisia. (Middle East Eye - 04/03/15)

Migrant boat sinks off Libyan coast, claims lives: Several migrants died after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya. The boat was carrying roughly 130 people when it ran into trouble about 80 kilometers north of Libya according to the Italian Coast Guard. (Deutsche Welle – 04/03/15)

Somalia

Families displaced in Somalia: The Government destroyed dozens of temporary shelters and shops in southern Mogadishu. They were living in an area serving as a camp for displaced persons. (Dailymail – 04/03/15)

Puntland coastguard detains migrants: The Puntland coastguard detained 106 migrants, 86 of whom were females in their early twenties, as they headed to Yemen. The migrants were of Ethiopian and Somali nationality. Furthermore the coastguard reported that the smugglers were arrested alongside the migrants and would possibly face charges of human trafficking. (Horseed – 13/03/15)

Somaliland Immigration apprehends 17 Ethiopian migrants: the 17 (16 men and one woman) were apprehended by police and immigration officials on their way to the Middle East according to an immigration service officer. (Somaliland Press – 24/03/15)

Thousands of Somalis trapped in Yemen violence: According to a Somali diplomat A Somali diplomat, refugees from Somalia have been trapped with scant food and water. The conflict is also affecting the many Somalis who have gone to study or work in Yemen. (Horsed Media – 25/03/15)

Dozens of Yemeni refugees arrive in Somalia: Yemeni refugees fleeing from fighting arrived in Somaliland according to local authorities and UN officials. 32 asylum seekers arrived on 28th March from Taiz. Concerns were also a potential backlash against Somali refugees in Yemen after the Somali government expressed support for the Saudi-led air strikes against Houthi fighters.(Associated Press – 31/03/15)

Stranded Ogadeni refugees and asylum-seekers face humanitarian crisis: Many Ogadeni families have gone without food after store owners stopped giving food possibly prompted by fears that the usual fixed time payments would not be honored. (Mareeg Media – 30/03/15) 

Sudan

Over 45 Sudanese drown in the Mediterranean: The group consisting mostly of Darfuris but also people from other parts of Sudan and other African countries were crossing from Libya when their boat sank on 10th March.  As the security situation in Libya worsens, many refugees are opting to seek refuge in Europe after making the sea crossing. (All Africa - 10/03/15)

Human trafficking victims killed in road accident: According to Sudanese police, 15 people most of whom were Ethiopians were killed in the accident which occurred in Al-Baga area, 79 km from Khartoum. Two of the traffickers also died in the accident that occurred on 6th March. (Sudan Tribune – 07/03/15)

Giving a face to Sudan's refugee crisis: The word refugee often conjures up images of faceless crowds fleeing conflict, their existence only registered in terms of statistics and graphs. Pieter Ten Hoopen wanted to give his subjects the ability to express themselves freely by opening a make shift photo studio took and portraits of refugees at the Mayo camp in Khartoum, Sudan. (CNN- 25/03/15)

South Sudan

South Sudan refugees in Ethiopia ‘in desperate situation’ [video]: The World Health Organization has warned of the spread of communicable diseases within the camps and to the host communities. Similarly with the flooding of camps in Western Ethiopia as a result of the recent rains, UNHCR has requested for relocations to take place before the end of April. (Press TV - 26/03/15)

South Africa

Mobs demolish immigrant shops as South Africa betrays its ideals:  In the past two months South Africa has seen a tide of anti-immigrant sentiment with at least 5 people killed and another 200 arrested in Gauteng Province. The attacks were triggered by the shooting of a South African teenager by a Somali shop owner in January. (Bloomberg Business – 16/03/15)

Zulu King's comments on foreigners causes alarm: The statements by Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini who allegedly said that the foreigners should return home as they are changing the nature of South African society have raised concern with Somali Association of South Africa (SASA). Fears of violence have emerged with the rise of xenophobic attacks on immigrants in South Africa sincve January. (All Africa – 24/03/15)

King denies xenophobic comments: In response to alleged statements against immigrants and a complaint that was lodged with the  Human Rights Commission, the Royal Household has stated that the quotes attributed King Goodwill Zwelithini were regarding the issue of crime and porous borders that allow for the entry of illegal immigrants. (Sunday Tribune – 29/03/15)

Swaziland

Swazi government ‘snubs starved refugees’ [blog]: Somali refugees in Swaziland were reported to have received no food while at the Malindza Refugee camp. Mowlid Omer Warsame, one of the refugees, was reported saying the living conditions in Swaziland were unbearable.  (Swazi Media Commentary – 24/03/15)

Somali asylum seekers appeal for Swazi citizenship:   The asylum seekers decided to petition King Mswati III to grant them citizenship after failing to obtain refugee status. The seven Somalis asylum seekers set up camp outside the Ludzidzini Royal Residence with the intention of seeking an audience with King Mswati. (Times of Swaziland – 23/03/15)

United States

Nashville Somalis worry how to get money back home: Following the closure of money transfers into Somalia, many Somalis have expressed concern over the fate of their families who rely on the assistance they send. The closure has been prompted by concerns that terrorist organizations are utilizing the money transfer operations to finance themselves. (The Tennessean – 07/03/15)

Yemen

Immigrants detained for illegal entry: 53 Ethiopian immigrants were detained in the port city of Mocha. The migrants were in two groups, the first group of 30 were arrested on Mocha’s Al-Jadeed coastline and another 23 were arrested after crossing the Bab Al- Mandeb strait. According to a source in the Immigration, Passport and Naturalization Authority (IPNA), since the beginning of 2014, 60% of the 8,000 migrants who had not been granted refugee status have been deported. (Yemen Times- 11/03/15)

Yemen Escalating Conflict Situational Report No. 1 (As of 31 March 2015): Intensified conflict between Houthi fighters and other parties increased mainly in the South. On 30th March a displaced persons camp in Hajjah was hit with an airstrike killing 29 and injuring 41 others. Displacement estimates based on unverified reports place the number of IDPs at 101,500 persons. (UNOCHA – 31/03/15)

Statement of Yemen Humanitarian Coordinator following airstrike on Al Mazraq: Following confirmation of an airstrike on Al Mazraq displaced persons camp that killed 29 and injured 41 others, the Humanitarian Coordinator; Johannes Van Der Klaauw released a statement deploring the attack and reiterating obligations under international law against the targeting of civilian infrastructures. (UNOCHA – 31/03/15)

59 Ethiopians added to growing number of imprisoned immigrants: the 59 were detained between the port city of Mocha and Dubab in Yemen. The migrants were an addition to the 53 who had been arrested earlier. According to the Taiz Prison Director Colonel Mohammed Naef there are 224 immigrants currently held in prison. (Yemen Times – 18/03/15)

‘Despite its poverty, Yemen is the most hospitable’ [interview]: Mr Johannes van der Klaauw who is the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen commented on the state of operations in Yemen even in the midst of conflict. In addition he observed the presence of human traffickers and smugglers exploiting persons in irregular migration flows. (Yemen Times – 23/03/15)

Air strike at Yemeni refugee camp kills 45: According to IOM, an air strike at a displaced persons camp in Mazraq in Northern Yemen killed 45 people and wounded 65 others. (Reuters – 30/03/15)  

Yemen used to be a net importer of refugees and migrants - how much longer? [Graphics]: According to the graph, it shows dips in migrant numbers corresponding to seasonal lulls in response to Yemen government efforts to combat smuggling and trafficking as well as the crackdown in late 2013 and early 2014 in Saudi Arabia. (IRIN – 30/03/15) 

Yemen update – Escalating Conflict: Due to conflict, there has been increased displacement with 300 families displaced in the North fled from Sa’ada for Haradh. People were also displaced in Al Dhale’e and according to local sources many people are leaving Sana’a to live with relatives outside the city. (Reliefweb- 28/03/15)

Attack on Yemen camp was a violation of international law: In a statement by the United Nations, the airstrike on the displaced persons camp in Mazraq was a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. (Thompson Reuters – 31/03/15) 

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