Media Listing February 2015


UNHCR relocates over 1,200 Somali returnees from Kenya: The pilot phase of the voluntary repatriation of Somali returnees in the country has reached 1, 274 individuals/households according to UNHCR.  80% of the returnees have been in Kenya since 2010 and as of 5th February 11 convoys had departed for Somalia from Dadaab refugee camp. ( – 07/02/15)

Ethiopians repatriated after serving sentences: Over 500 Ethiopians were repatriated back to Ethiopia in the first two months of 2015 after having been imprisoned due to illegal entry into Kenya. The Ethiopians were en route southwards to Tanzania and South Africa in search of employment. In December 2014, 383 people were repatriated to Ethiopia after the High Court reviewed their sentences. (Shanghai Daily- 28/02/15)

High Court declares refugee population limitation illegal: The provision was part of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 that sought to limit the number of refugees in the country to 150,000. The High Court declared that it is unconstitutional and a violation of international treaties. (Daily Nation- 23/02/15)


IOM calls for a coordinated response in Libya: IOM calls on governments to act in the face of increasing numbers of migrants who are victims of traffickers in Libya. The escalating violence has placed migrants in danger. So far 1,650 migrants have been rescued from unseaworthy boats headed to Italy while 330 have been reported drowned. (IOM Press Room- 16/02/15)


Over 100 Ethiopian migrants returned home: 54 Ethiopians in Tanzania, 6 of whom were unaccompanied minors on their way to South Africa and 71 unaccompanied minors in Yemen attempting to reach Saudi Arabia, have been assisted to return by IOM after months of detention. (IOM Press Room- 27/02/15)

Plight of Ethiopian migrants in Somalia: According to local authorities in Bossasso, at least 10,000 Ethiopians have settled in Somalia. An Al-Jazeera report documents the situation on the southern Somali coast of the Gulf of Aden where some Ethiopian migrants destined for Yemen have chosen to reside. (Al Jazeera- 27/02/15)


Dozens missing as migrant boat capsizes off Yemen: 37migrants went missing after the boat carrying them to Yemen capsized on 2nd February near Bab el-Mandeb strait. According to reports by the Saba news agency, eight Ethiopians and five Somalis were rescued. (MWC News- 03/02/15)


23,000 new asylum claims from Eritrea in first half of 2014: In the first half of 2014 Germany alone received 3,900 of the Eritrean applications. Somalis and Eritreans are among the main nationalities lodging applications, whereas Ethiopia and Kenya feature on the list of countries with largest refugee populations. (Caperi-07-02-15)


Italy rescues thousands of migrants at sea: The Italian coast guard has reported rescuing more than 2,100 migrants in a major rescue operation in the Mediterranean between Europe and North Africa. The rescue operations have involved increased risks for rescuers; in one case four smugglers armed with Kalashnikovs threatened rescuers between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast. (Al Jazeera News -15/02/2015)

More than 2,000 migrants from Libya rescued by Italian coastguard: 2,164 migrants travelling in a dozen boats were rescued by the Coastguard and various merchant ships in the area. This comes a week after 300 died after their boats sunk. (The Guardian- 17/02/2015)

UN attacks 'woefully inadequate' Mediterranean migrant rescue operation: The UN’s refugee chief has criticized the Triton operation as an inadequate replacement for Italy’s Mare Nostrum. He also called upon the EU to establish a full search and rescue operation. (The Guardian- 17/02/2015)

Twenty-nine migrants die of hypothermia on Italian coast guard boats: The 29 were in a group of 105 migrants who were picked up adrift near Libya. Fears of similar scenarios of migrant deaths at sea have been voiced by critics questioning the closure of Mare Nostrum which was a search and rescue operation now replaced by Triton, primarily a border control operation. (Reuters- 09/02/2015)

Operation Triton extended to the end of 2015: The EU has extended this operation and provided extra funding to support Italy to deal with increased arrivals of migrants and refugees. The European Commission provided an additional Euros 13.7 million as emergency funding. Operation Triton has already been subject of criticism from the UNHCR and Amnesty International. (Reuters – 20/ 02/15)

Dutch Government assistance to homeless migrants lauded: The United Nations special rapporteurs on rights of migrants, extreme poverty and adequate housing has called the decision of the Netherlands Government to provide emergency assistance to homeless migrants a “welcome change of position” in a joint statement. The assistance (‘bed, bath and bread’ as it is popularly known) will see municipalities that provide emergency shelters to homeless migrants receive funding. (UN News Centre-28/01/15)


Germany suggests asylum centers in North Africa: Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s Interior Minister said in an interview. The centers (which would start off with one pilot centre) would vet claims on the spot and distinguish asylum seekers from economic migrants. Germany is hosting over 5,500 refugees. (Deutsche Welle- 26/02/15)


Deterring migrant boats is failing: Figures released of migrant deaths and attempted crossing of the Mediterranean in 2015 indicate that the end of Mare Nostrum has not been a deterrent to would be migrants. According to UNHCR, 7,000 migrants have attempted the crossing in 2015 up from 3,338 in the same period in 2014. (IRIN News- 27/02/15)

New Greek government takes softer approach on undocumented migrants: Policies of the former government including sweep operations and detention centers are changing. In the new approach, migrants and asylum seekers acquire some legal status with a stay of 6 months in Greece. This is in line with the Government’s plan to close down all detention centers numbering around 30 in the country, and at the same time open new reception centers to serve the many migrants from mainly the Middle East and Asia. (CCTV America-27/02/15)


High Court listens to petition on Anti-Infiltration law: The petition was in response to the latest amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law passed in late 2014. The amendment allows for the detention of asylum seekers for up to 20 months at the Holot facility without trial. A ruling is expected within a few months. (The Times of Israel-04/02/15)   

Power-sharing formula’ vital to sustain peace in South Sudan: The statement of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, comes in the wake of a cease fire deal between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. The parties were urged to adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 23rd January 2014. (UN News Centre- 04/02/15)

 South Sudan:

Power-sharing formula’ vital to sustain peace in South Sudan: The statement of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, comes in the wake of a cease fire deal between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. The parties were urged to adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 23rd January 2014. (UN News Centre- 04/02/15)


 Disruption in sending cash home distresses Somali immigrants: Following the shutdown of wire transfers by Merchants Commercial Bank of California, many Somalis in the United States will not be in a position to send money to their relatives. The closure of the money transfer service is part of wider efforts to combat funding to extremist groups in the Horn of Africa region. (Voice of America- 25/02/15)


U.S Senators propose legislation to combat global slavery: The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act 2015, will seek to establish a foundation funded with up to $1.5 billion meant to administer grants to victims, create slavery prevention programmes and strengthen law enforcement. (Reuters- 25/02/15)

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