Media Listing January 2017

 

Global

The world needs a new strategy to tackle the migration crisis: In this article, the director general of UN migration agency, William Swing, calls on world leaders to adopt a new strategy to tackle the migration crisis and stop the unnecessary loss of life along migration routes. (The Guardian – 15/01/2017)

Europe readies its ‘Marshall Plan’ for Africa: In a media interview, the head of European Investment Bank, urges EU to tackle the root causes of the migration crisis by mobilising private investments in Africa. “What is needed is not global social policy but down-to-earth investment,” said Werner Hoyer. (Politico – 17/01/2017)

The world needs a new strategy to tackle the migration crisis: Noting that mass migration to Europe is likely to continue in the coming decades, the author of this article calls for a new strategy to tackle the migration crisis. The author proposes various strategies such as providing protection to those fleeing conflict and abetting regular migration. (The Guardian – 15/01/2017)

The E.U.’s hollow success over migrant smuggling in Niger: The author of this article argues that efforts by EU to stem the flow of migrants through Niger must be coupled with credible economic alternatives for those who stand to lose (e.g. people smugglers, government officials implicit in the trade etc.), to prevent another crisis occurring in the Sahel region. (Refugees Deeply – 17/01/2017)

Refugees tortured and raped in squalid desert camps, arrest of Somali 'sadist' reveals: Prosecutors in an Italian court reveal the shocking abuse suffered by refugees and migrants at the hands of people smugglers in squalid camps in the Sahara. The revelation follows the arrest of a “sadistic” Somali smuggler who was identified by fellow Somalis in a migrant centre. (The Telegraph – 18/01/2017)

Refugees can be used as a political resource to help those left behind: The author of this article argues for a rethinking of the role of refugees in society noting that if empowered, refugees can become a vital political resource to support long-term transitions to peace and democracy in origin countries. (The Guardian -22/01/2017)

Why a refugee deal with Libya is a bad idea: The author of this article critiques a proposed migrant deal between EU and Libya aimed at intercepting and returning migrant boats to Libya where migrants would be processed by UNHCR and IOM to determine their eligibility for asylum in Europe. According to the proposed deal, migrants that do not qualify for asylum in Europe would be resettled in Libya or repatriated to their countries of origin. (ECRF – 24/01/2017)

EU looks to camps in Africa to cut immigration: According to this article, EU interior ministers are reportedly pushing ahead with plans to finance camps in Africa, where UNHCR and aid groups would process migrants to prevent them from trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. "The people taken up by the smugglers need to be saved and brought to a safe place, but then from this safe place outside Europe we would bring into Europe only those who require protection," German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters. (Reuters – 26/01/2017)

Judge blocks Donald Trump order to deport Muslim migrants: A federal judge blocks the US government from deporting Muslim migrants and refugees detained across US airports. This follows President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations. (Financial Times – 29/01/2017)

UNHCR alarmed at impact of U.S. refugee program suspension: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi expresses concern over the uncertainty facing thousands of refugees scheduled to be resettled to the US. This comes after the US president issued an executive order suspending the US refugee resettlement program for 120 days. (UNHCR – 30/01/2017)

Joint IOM-UNHCR statement on President Trump’s Refugee Order: UNHCR and IOM issue a joint statement in response to US President Trump executive order which sought to temporarily impose a ban on nationals from seven Muslim nations. (UNHCR – 28/01/2017)

In Niger, anti-smuggling efforts risk trading one crisis for another: The author of this article argues that efforts by EU to stem irregular migration through Niger must be coupled with credible economic incentives for various players involved in migrant smuggling in the country. According to the author, EU policymakers are likely to court another crisis in the Sahel region if they don’t take into consideration the local dynamics influencing smuggling and trafficking in the region. (African Arguments – 31/01/2017)

Europe

Italy to seek to track down and deport migrants with no right to stay: In a directive seen by the media, Italian authorities will seek to deport more migrants who have no right to be in the country and will open new detention centres to hold them before their expulsion. This follows a terrorist attack in a Berlin market during Christmas season in 2016. (Reuters – 01/01/2017)

More than 1,000 migrants storm border at Spain's Ceuta: More than 1,000 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa trying to reach Europe storm the high double fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave Ceuta in a violent assault that left five Spanish policemen and 50 Moroccan security forces injured. None of the migrants managed to get through. (Al Jazeera – 01/01/2017)

Link between Italy’s mafia and asylum seekers flood exposed: According to investigations carried out by Italian authorities, the surge in migrant arrivals along the Central Mediterranean is partly being facilitated by a sophisticated and coordinated network of smugglers operating from Africa and stretching into the heart of northern Europe. (New Europe – 03/01/2017)

Report: German asylum applications drop to 320,000 in 2016: According to this article, asylum applications in Germany dropped to around 320,000 in 2016, a major decrease compared to 890,000 in 2015. In addition, the number of people arrested for human trafficking in the country also decreased from 3,370 in 2015 to around 900 in 2016. (Europe Online – 08/01/2017)

Austrian defence minister eyes plan to overhaul EU migrant policy: According to this article, Austria’s defence minister has drafted a plan that would overhaul EU’s migrant policy by establishing a ceiling for migration and only permitting applications for asylum from outside EU. (Yahoo News – 05/01/2017)

EU needs greater input from refugee groups: The author of this article argues that recent EU initiatives to address the migration crisis have been met with mixed reactions since they are not inclusive. In particular, the author argues that to enhance their effectiveness, such initiatives should sufficiently involve all the key players including refugee groups and local authorities. (EU Observer – 05/01/2017)

801 migrants sent back to Turkey under migrant deal: According to this article, EU has admitted 2,672 legal Syrian refugees from Turkey under the EU-Turkey migrant deal. In addition, 801 people have been deported to Turkey. (Relief Web – 08/01/2017)

Germany and Italy step up measures to deter asylum seekers: This article reviews various measures taken by Germany and Italy to stem the flow of migrants and refugees, and more rapidly return failed asylum seekers. The article notes that the two countries have paid the heaviest price for the lack of solidarity among EU states to address the migration crisis. (IRIN News – 13/01/2017)

Calais Jungle wall is completed two months after all the refugees were driven out: A British-funded wall separating the Calais Jungle from passing trucks has been completed, two months after the camp was brought down and its thousands of migrant residents scattered around France. According to this article, the wall cost GBP 2.3milion. (The Independent – 13/01/2017)

Concern over EU plans to send refugees back to Greece: Refugees, the Greek government and humanitarian organisations express concern over Germany’s decision to return asylum seekers to Greece in mid-March. Germany has for the past five years refrained from carrying out such transfers due to the poor humanitarian conditions in Greek camps. (Al Jazeera – 16/01/2017)

EU needs Turkish-style migration deal on Libya: Maltese PM: Addressing EU lawmakers, Maltese prime minister urges for a migrant deal with Libya to curb the flow of migrants trying to sail on smugglers’ boats from Libya to Italy. "There is no doubt that unless the essence of the Turkey deal is replicated in the central Mediterranean, Europe will face a major migration crisis," said PM Muscat. (Reuters – 18/01/2016)

Home office Eritrea guidance softened to reduce asylum seeker numbers: Home Office documents obtained by the Public Law Project indicate that the UK government has downplayed the risk of human rights abuses in Eritrea, in an attempt to reduce asylum seekers numbers from the country. The documents further indicate that the UK government agreed to look at giving Eritrea aid in exchange for Eritrea agreeing to soften some of its human rights abuses. (The Guardian – 22/01/2017)

Swiss asylum requests plunge 31 percent in 2016: According to SEM, the Swiss migration agency, requests for asylum in Switzerland plunged by nearly a third to around 27,200 last year after authorities closed the Balkan land route used by thousands to flee hot spots in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Eritreans made up the largest proportion of nationalities seeking asylum followed by citizens of Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Iraq. (Reuters – 23/01/2017)

Netherlands PM says those who don't respect customs should leave: The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, publishes an open letter to the country’s citizens, urging anyone who cannot respect the country’s customs to leave. According to this article, this is viewed as a political move aimed at drawing anti-immigration voters ahead of elections in March this year. (The Guardian – 23/01/2017)

No Turkey-type migrant deal with Libya, says EU commission: The European Commission comes out against ideas to replicate the EU-Turkey migrant deal with Libya, noting that the North African country is too unstable. "Let me tell you that we cannot duplicate the EU-Turkey statement, the situation is not similar in Libya," EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said. (EU Observer – 24/01/2017)

Supreme Court considering right to work of asylum seekers: The Supreme Court in Ireland is set to make a ruling on an appeal concerning the right to work for asylum seekers in the country. This follows an appeal by a Burmese refugee who depended on government allowances for eight years before his asylum application was granted towards the end of last year. (The Irish Times – 24/01/2017)

No Time to Waste: NGOs call upon EU institutions and member states to expand the use of safe and legal channels for refugees: Humanitarian and human rights agencies issue a statement urging EU member states to expand the use of safe and legal channels for refugees. The agencies note that EU states have at their disposal a range of legal pathways including resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes, humanitarian visas, sponsorships, family reunification, labour migration among others. (Relief Web – 25/02/2017)

Europe’s crackdown on African immigration is hitting vulnerable refugees: In this article, the author reviews latest initiatives and/or sentiments across various countries in Europe aimed at stemming the influx of migrants. The author argues that such initiative and/or sentiments are likely to affect some of the most vulnerable people from some of the most repressive countries in Africa. Finally, the author calls for the establishment of legal channels for refugees escaping persecution. (The Guardian – 26/01/2017)

Council of Europe anti-trafficking experts urge Italy to better protect unaccompanied children: The Council of Europe Group of experts against human trafficking (GRETA) publishes a report on the implementation of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by Italy. The report reveal gaps in the detection of victims of human trafficking among newly arriving migrants and unaccompanied children. (Relief Web – 30/01/2017)

Egypt

Egypt says it prevented 12,000 people from illegally migrating in 2016: Egyptian border patrol and coastguard forces announce that they have stopped more than 12,000 people of various nationalities from illegally entering or leaving the country in 2016. Egypt passed a legislation towards the end of 2016, to curb irregular migration into and through the country. (Reuters – 11/01/2017)

Ethiopia

IOM helps Ethiopian migrants detained in Zambia return home: IOM supports the repatriation of 147 Ethiopian migrants detained in Zambian jails for between one and five years. The migrants were headed to South Africa in search of better economic opportunities or to join families and reported that they paid between USD 4,000 and USD 5,000 to smugglers. (IOM Press – 31/01/2017)

Israel

Israel raises height of fence on Egypt border: According to this article, Israeli government has raised the height of an electronic fence along parts of its border with Egypt to shut down irregular migration routes. The moves comes after an estimated 213 migrants managed to breach the fence in 2015, prompting authorities to raise its height from 5 to 8 metres along a 17 kilometre stretch. (Times of Israel – 18/01/2017)

Kenya

Refugees in Kenya hit by US travel ban after years of waiting for asylum: This article highlights the plight of Somali refugees stuck in Kenya, following the US president travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority nations. An estimated 3,000 refugees are scheduled to be resettled in the US from camps in northern Kenya in 2017. (The Guardian – 30/01/2017)

Libya

Italy opens Libya embassy to stop migrants: Italian authorities announce plans to re-open its embassy in Libya’s capital as part of a broader effort to curb influx of migrants from the North African nation. (EU Observer – 10/01/2017)

Ethiopians, Eritreans, and Somalis among 180 migrants who drowned found off Libya’s coast: According to this article, an estimated 180 migrants and asylum seekers believed to be from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, drowned off the coast of Libya after a shipwreck. (Zegabi – 18/01/2017)

People smuggling in Libya: You can’t bomb away a problem of economics: The authors of this article argue that efforts to manage irregular flows from Libya should focus less on combating people smugglers and more on addressing fundamental issues affecting Libya. These include among others, unequal citizenship among Libya’s multifarious ethnic and religious entities, inclusive growth and distribution of state resources. (African Arguments – 25/01/2016)

German report details Libya abuses amid pressure to stem migrant flows: A report released by the German embassy in Niger indicates that conditions for migrants and refugees in Libya are worse that in concentration camps. The report documents cases of executions, torture and other systematic rights abuses in camps along refugee routes in Libya. (The Guardian – 30/01/2017)

Somalia

‘Growing hopelessness’ grips ‘forgotten’ Somali refugees, warns UNHCR: UNHCR Special Envoy Mohamed Affey cautions that nearly one million Somalis in refugee camps in the Horn of Africa and the surrounding region face growing hopelessness as their displacement drags on for decades and donor become fatigued. (Relief Web – 09/01/2017)

Drought leaves an estimated 6.5 million children at risk of hunger in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya: Save the Children warns that an estimated 6.5 million children could be at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa as a result of back-to-back droughts in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Nearly half a million children in the region are reportedly suffering from severe acute malnutrition. (Relief Web – 27/01/2017)

First chartered flight of Somali deportees in years sent this week: Two Kenyan and 90 Somali nationals are deported from the USA on board a chartered flight. According to the Somali ambassador in US, the group consisted of green card holders who had committed crimes and asylum seekers who lost their cases in immigration court. (The San Diego Tribune – 27/01/2017)

Sudan

Sudan’s SRF militia arrests 1500 illegal migrants near Libyan border: Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) indicate that it has intercepted an estimated 1,500 migrants on the Sudanese-Libyan border between June 2016 and early 2017. In a press statement, RSF urged the international community to lift sanctions imposed on Sudan to facilitate the fight against human trafficking, migrant smuggling and other transnational crimes. (Sudan Tribune – 09/01/2017)

Sudan: 115 migrants intercepted in northern border with Libya: An estimated 115 migrants are intercepted by Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) along Sudan’s border with Libya and Egypt. Some of the migrants were reportedly from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. (Africa News – 09/01/2017)

Sudan’s RSF arrests 64 illegal migrants near Libyan border: Authorities in North Darfur announce that 64 migrants, mainly from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen, have been intercepted by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) as they attempted to cross the desert into Libya. (Sudan Tribune – 25/01/2017)

South Africa

South Africa: No deportation of undocumented migrants: The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa dismiss reports circulating via social media, that it had ordered the immediate deportation of undocumented migrants in the country. (All Africa – 25/01/2017)

Uganda

Uganda tightens visa security: Uganda’s Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) deploys an electronic visa management system to facilitate travel, enhance national security and protect a traveller’s identity against theft. With the new system, authorities will be able to manage the entire visa life cycle from application to issuance. (East African Business Week – 16/01/2017)

Yemen

United States announces $76 million in humanitarian assistance for Yemen: US government announces more than USD 76 million in new humanitarian assistance to respond to the urgent needs of the Yemeni people throughout the country. This brings the total US humanitarian assistance for Yemen to nearly USD 404 million since 2015. According to the latest FEWS NET estimates, between 7 and 10 million people are in need of emergency food assistance. (Relief Web – 17/01/2016)

Yemen: Ongoing humanitarian crisis adding to migrants woes, says UN migration agency: UN migration agency, IOM, calls for additional support for the vulnerable populations in Yemen amidst on-going conflict in the country which has displaced more than 2 million people across the country. (UN News Centre – 18/01/2017)

African migrants face torture, blackmail amid Yemeni chaos: This article highlights the plight of (Ethiopian) migrants trapped in Yemen despite the on-going conflict in the country. More than 111,000 migrants arrived in Yemen in 2016 and an estimated 9,000 migrants are reportedly being held in prisons either by the rebels or opposing factions. (The Washington Post – 28/01/2016)

Contact Us

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DRC Horn of Africa & Yemen
Lower Kabete Road
(Ngecha Road Junction)
P.O.Box 14762, 00800
Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (0)20 418 0403/4/5 (switchboard)
info@regionalmms.org

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