Media Listing February 2017


High time for states to invest in alternatives to migrant detention: The author of this article calls on the European countries to work towards abolishing migrant detention and develop effective alternatives. (ReliefWeb – 01/02/2017)

Italy unveils 200-million-euro Africa fund to curb migration: Italy unveils a 200 million euro Africa fund aimed at curbing irregular migration to Europe. The target countries include Libya, Niger and Tunisia which Italy says are the main transit countries for migrants and asylum seekers heading to Europe. (Europe Online – 01/02/2017)

New EU Partnerships in North Africa: Potential to backfire? In this commentary by Migration Policy Institute, the author casts an analytical lens on recent EU partnerships with some North Africa countries aimed at stemming the influx of migrants and asylum seekers into Europe. The author argues that to ensure the sustainability of the partnerships, the EU should place greater emphasis on improving conditions in sending countries including strengthening government institutions. (MPI – 03/02/2017)

“Immediate and expansive” action needed as millions face starvation in the Horn of Africa: IFRC calls for an immediate and expansive response to prevent widespread drought conditions from triggering a humanitarian catastrophe in the Horn of Africa region. Prolonged and worsening drought conditions across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya have left more than more than 11 million people facing severe hunger and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. (ReliefWeb – 10/02/2017)

EU: Human rights cost of refugee deal with Turkey too high to be replicated elsewhere: Amnesty International issues a statement ahead of the EU-Turkey migrant deal one year anniversary, noting that the deal has left thousands of refugees and migrants in squalid and dangerous living conditions and must not be replicated with other countries. “It is disingenuous in the extreme that European leaders are touting the EU-Turkey deal as a success, while closing their eyes to the unbearably high cost to those suffering the consequences,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe. (Amnesty International – 14/02/2017)

How economists are fuelling the global debate over refugees: This article gives a highlight of various academic studies seeking to analyse and quantify the impact of surging numbers of refugees and asylum seekers on host communities in various parts of the world. (Bloomberg – 17/02/2017)

Can E.U. shift migrant crisis to the source? In Libya, the odds are long: In this article, the authors review the latest agreement between Italy and Libya aimed at stemming the flow of migrants and assess its feasibility taking into consideration certain fundamental factors. These include, powerful armed groups that control migrant smuggling, ongoing instability and violence and the geo-political dynamics in Libya. (New York Times – 17/02/2017)

Afghan-EU pact signed at Munich conference: Afghan and EU leaders sign a long-negotiated cooperation pact at the Munich security conference. The Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development (CAPD) is aimed at addressing long-term civil reforms in Afghanistan including education and trade. Afghanistan has come under pressure from the EU to accept reject asylum seekers from Europe. An estimated 80,000 rejected Afghan applicants have reportedly remained within the 28-nation bloc. (DW – 19/02/2017)

EU pushes migration talks with Tunisia, Egypt: According to this article, the EU is seeking a migrant deal with Tunisia and Egypt, similar to recent agreements with other Northern African countries. The EU is offering simplified visa procedures and increased economic aid to Tunisia and Egypt in exchange for smoother deportations of unwanted African migrants. "[…] we are working on establishing a dialogue that would look at [socio-economic stability and security concerns], to the benefit of both the migrants there but also Egyptians from the most vulnerable groups," said an EU official. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 20/02/2017)


E.U. vows to slow migration on sea route that claimed thousands of lives: The EU leaders pledge during a meeting in Malta, to slow the movement of African migrants crossing the Mediterranean in attempts to reach Europe. The leaders agreed on a plan that would increase support and training for Libya’s coastguard and give African countries more aid to discourage irregular flows to Europe. (New York Times – 03/02/2017)

UK will fund scheme to get refugees to move to Asia and Latin America: According to this article, the UK is set to launch a voluntary programme dubbed “emerging resettlement countries joint support mechanism” aimed at supporting refugees from Syria and other nations to start new lives in Asia and Latin America. The programme is intended to help up to 30,000 people over three years and will be jointly run by UNHCR and IOM. (The Guardian – 03/02/2017)

Germany offers asylum seekers up to €1,200 each to voluntarily return to their home countries: The German government budgets more than €40 million to pay asylum seekers to voluntarily return to their home countries. Migrants who withdraw their asylum application and leave the country will be offered up to €1,200 each while those denied asylum will be offered €800 if they choose to leave the country. (The Independent – 03/02/2017)

More pathways for migrants to Europe can foil people smugglers – border clampdowns will not: The authors of this opinion article argue that closing the EU’s borders is counterproductive since it endangers migrants’ lives and strengthens smuggling networks rather than weakening them. The authors calls for more durable solutions to the current crisis including widening existing channels for entry by migrants and refugees. (The Conversation – 03/02/2017)

Hungary submits plans to EU to detain all asylum seekers: According to this article, Hungary is set to submit proposals to the EU to protect Europe’s borders by automatically detaining asylum seekers for the whole period of their asylum application. Hungary has in the past clashed with the EU over its migration policy, including its decision to erect a fence on its Serbian border and its refusal to accept EU-wide asylum quotas. (The Guardian – 07/02/2017)

Europe urged to offer migrants work to cut Mediterranean death: In a media interview, a senior IOM official calls for the EU to open up legal routes for African migrants to work on the continent to save lives on the Mediterranean crossing. “The main reason for irregularity of movement into Europe is the fact that legal channels to come to Europe are basically non-existent,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Director for Europe. (The Guardian – 08/02/2017)


Egypt rejects European proposals for 'illegal migrants' camps in Africa: According to this article, Egyptian government rejects a proposal by the EU of establishing camps for irregular migrants in Northern African countries where UN agencies and aid groups would process migrants to prevent them from attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Instead, the Egyptian government urges the EU to increase investments in the southern Mediterranean region and African continent to curb irregular migration. (Ahram Online – 02/02/2017)

Egypt launches new counter migrant smuggling project: Egyptian government launches the project Preventing and Responding to Irregular Migration in Egypt (PRIME) with financial support from the UK and in cooperation with IOM. The project will support the implementation of Egypt’s National Strategy on Combating Illegal Migration 2016-2026 and the recent Illegal Migration and Anti-Smuggling Law. (IOM Press – 14/02/2017)


EU prevention policy puts Eritreans at risk of imprisonment, torture and death: A new report published by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) indicates that the EU is doing all it can to prevent Eritreans from reaching its shores, despite mounting evidence of inhumane treatment faced by the migrants both within and outside Eritrea. (MSF – 27/02/2017)


Rights groups welcome court ruling to block Kenya refugee camp closure: Kenya’s High Court overturns government decision to close Dadaab refugee camp terming it as unconstitutional. “The government’s decision specifically targeting Somali refugees is an act of group persecution, illegal, discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional,” High Court Judge John Mativo said in a ruling. In addition, the court declared “null and void” government’s order to disband the Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA). Human rights organisations have welcomed the court ruling even as the government vow to appeal the ruling within 30 days. (The Guardian - 09/02/2017)


UN-proposed government signs MoU with Italy to curb migrants’ flow, smuggling and control borders: According to this article, Italy signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN-backed Libyan government for three years, to step up cooperation between the two governments to address human trafficking, migrant smuggling and security along the southern borders. (Libya Observer – 05/02/2017)

Libya mayors say Europe's migration crisis should not be dumped on them: Mayors from Libya’s desert south to its northern shores express concern about the new agreement between Libya and Italy aimed at curbing irregular flows to Europe by establishing migrant holding centres in the country. "If the Europeans want to allow them to stay, they can have them in their own lands, which are larger, but not in Libya, because we have our own problems to take care of," said Hamed Al-Khyali, mayor of the southern city of Sabha. (Reuters – 10/02/2017)


Inside Somalia, drought displacement growing: UNHCR issues a statement calling for swift action and adequate funding to avoid famine in Somalia and a repeat of 2011, when some 250,000 people died, more than half of them aged under five years. The current drought situation in Somalia has displaced more than 135,000 people inside Somalia since November 2016. (UNHCR – 21/02/2017)

Over 100 Somali refugees fleeing conflict in Yemen arrive in Mogadishu: One hundred and six Somali refugees are repatriated to Somalia from Yemen with assistance from the UNHCR, IOM and King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre. This follows an escalation in on-going conflict in Yemen. (ReliefWeb – 23/02/2017)


EU urged to end cooperation with Sudan after refugees whipped and deported: A member of parliament in the European parliament calls for the EU to rethink its cooperation with Sudan on migration flows after scores of refugees, mostly from Ethiopia and some from Eritrea, were whipped, fined, jailed and deported from Khartoum following a peaceful protest over a rise in visa processing fees. (The Guardian – 27/02/2017)

South Africa

In South Africa, violence follows a surge in xenophobia: In view of recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the author of this article attempts to understand the dynamics fuelling such incidents in the country. About 2.2 million immigrants live in South Africa and as the country struggles with rising poverty and crime levels, migrants increasingly find themselves at crossroads, blamed for stealing jobs and committing crimes. (The Washington Post – 24/02/2017)

IOM fears further rise in South Africa anti-immigrant violence: IOM expresses concern over the latest anti-immigrant violence in South Africa warning that violence may escalate if the root causes of the xenophobic attacks are not addressed. South African protesters have accused African migrants of taking their jobs and being responsible for a rise in crime, claims that have been rejected by IOM. (VOA – 24/02/2017)

South Sudan

While 100,000 face starvation, security deteriorates in South Sudan: According to a joint-agency assessment report on South Sudan, approximately 100,000 people are currently facing starvation in the country, with an additional one million close to famine. Famine has officially been declared in parts of Unity State, the first time in six years that a famine has been declared anywhere in the world. (ReliefWeb – 28/02/2017)


New refugee settlement opens in Uganda as thousands of South Sudanese continue to flee every day: UNHCR and partners open a new settlement in Arua district, northern Uganda. The new Imvepi settlement is set to become host to thousands of arriving refugees from South Sudan after Palorinya settlement in Moyo district, opened in December 2016, reached its 135,000 refugee-hosting capacity. (ReliefWeb – 23/02/2017)


Insecurity in Yemen threatens incoming refugees and migrants:  UNHCR launches a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers faced by those crossing to and through Yemen including death at sea, assault, extortion and abuse by criminal networks. The campaign will also caution migrants about the hazards stemming from the on-going conflict in Yemen. (UNHCR – 07/02/2017)

UN raises alarm over fighting on Yemen's west coast limiting access to vital supplies: UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, issues a statement expressing concern with the escalation of conflict and militarization of Yemen’s Western Coast. According to the statement, the conflict is effectively limiting the flow of humanitarian assistance into and through Al Hudaydah and Taiz governorates, noting that Yemen is heavily dependent on imported food staples. Over 17 million people are reportedly unable to adequately feed themselves. (ReliefWeb - 21/02/2017)

Yemen’s brutal conflict pushing one million displaced to return to danger: UNHCR and IOM warn in a joint statement that the ongoing conflict and rapidly deteriorating conditions across Yemen are pushing millions of displaced Yemenis further into danger and adversity. More than 11% of Yemeni population or 3 million people, have been forced to flee their homes for safety. (UNHCR – 21/02/2017) 

Yemeni health system crumbles as millions risk malnutrition and diseases: Humanitarian agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO) warn that the Yemeni health system is in crisis due to the ongoing conflict in the country. Highly specialized medical staff have left the country, the health budgetary allocation has drastically reduced and only 45% of health facilities are fully functional and accessible leaving nearly 15 million people without access to basic health care. Almost 4.5 million people also require services to treat or prevent malnutrition. (ReliefWeb – 23/02/2017)

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Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
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Lower Kabete Road
(Ngecha Road Junction)
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