Monthly Press Review September 2023

October 8th, 2023 - written by:

OUT NOW: Our Monthly Press Review September 2023 covers topics such as Eurafrican migration control, migration, and displacement in African countries, and news on the European border regime.

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Monthly Press Review September 2023

New on

Blog 08.09.23: I witnessed your death, O Geneina by Ibrahim Musa Shamo [Arabic]: The author lived to see the atrocities killings in Geneina in April this year, by RSF and associated militias, directed mainly against Masalit civilians.Until now, there are no accurate figures for the number of people fleeing to eastern Chad. It is estimated that more than 800,000 people fled from the city of El Geneina and neighboring small towns and villages to the state of Chad to save themselves from the brutality of the Rapid Support Forces and the Arab militias allied with them.

All Africa


04.09.23: AJE: Feeding big agribusiness, starving Africans: On September 5, the annual Africa Food Systems Forum, organised by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), will launch in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Government officials, experts, policymakers and business leaders will come together to discuss – in their words – “building back better food systems and food sovereignty”. In countries like Kenya and Nigeria, both of which have embraced industrial agriculture policies, the number of undernourished people has grown by 44 percent and 247 percent, respectively. Taken together, the population of undernourished people in the 13 states AGRA has primarily worked with has actually risen by 50 percent over the past 15 years. That is because the industrial agriculture practices AGRA and others promote degrade soils over time and decrease productivity – as our research has shown. Still, under pressure from foreign donors and big agribusiness, countries across Africa have been adopting policies that reflect this harmful approach to agriculture.

North Africa


29.09.23: AJE: Key US lawmaker calls to pause millions of dollars in aid to Egypt: “US lawmakers had placed human rights conditions on $320m of the $1.3bn that Cairo receives annually from Washington. But the administration of President Joe Biden waived the conditions earlier this month on grounds that the assistance advances US national interests. It ultimately withheld only $85m.”


06.09.23: AJE: Sudanese asylum seekers sleep rough by Libya’s UNHCR office: Outside the headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, about 150 Sudanese men, women and children have been camped out since July.

They spend the nights out in the open, sleeping on the dry dirt as cars swish by, after a long, arduous journey from their war-torn homeland. They fled the violence hoping to find safety and a more secure future, but Libya itself is struggling, torn as it is between rival administrations and the unfettered power of rebel groups.


28.09.23: AJE: East Libya commander Haftar in Moscow for talks with Putin: “Renegade general Khalifa Haftar, whose forces dominate eastern Libya, has held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, his forces and the Kremlin said. Haftar, who sponsors a rival administration to Libya’s UN-backed government in Tripoli, has long cultivated close relations with Moscow and relies heavily on Russian mercenary group Wagner for military support.”


29.09.23: taz: Die Flut schafft ein neues Wir-Gefühl in Libyen (The flood creates a new sense of unity in Libya): “After the disaster caused by storm front Daniel, a new sense of togetherness develops. Everywhere people help those affected. [...] The ideological conflicts of the last few years were temporarily put aside in view of the scale of the disaster, confirms activist Amal al-Haj from Tripoli.”

See also

21.09.23: Guardian: The Guardian view on Derna’s flood tragedy: Libya’s leaders have enjoyed impunity for too long;

28.09.23: AJE: East Libya commander Haftar in Moscow for talks with Putin.


30.09.23: AJE: Rescue group decries Libya coastguard ramming into migrant boat: Video posted by Sea-Watch International shows Libyan coastguards crashing into a dinghy with dozens of migrants and refugees on board.


02.10.23: Refugees in Libya: Tunisian authorities continue to carry out illegal mass expulsions: from Sfax to Libya in collaboration with the Libyan militias.

On September 29, 2023, a mass collection of migrants occurred in Sfax involving the illegal mass expulsion of over 400 individuals, 250 Sudanese and around 150 other African nationals, women and children. Some were intercepted by the Tunisian National Guards, while others were forcibly collected from the streets and transferred to Nalut, Libya, using buses. Upon reaching Nalut, they were handed over to Sultan Al-Labiba, a local representative of Libyan authorities. They are currently detained in the prison facility operated by the Stability Support Apparatus (60th Battalion), in Nalut.


20.09.23: AJE: Morocco to spend $11.7bn on post-earthquake reconstruction plan: “Morocco plans to spend at least $11.7bn in a post-earthquake reconstruction plan over the next five years, the royal palace said on Wednesday [20 September]. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck on 8 September, killing more than 2,900 people, mostly in the hard-to-reach villages of the High Atlas mountains. The five-year plan would target 4.2 million people in the worst-hit provinces and covers rehousing and emergency aid.”

See also

19.09.23: AJE: From Rif to Atlas: Youth-led NGO crosses Morocco to support rural tribes.


19.09.23: AJE: Europe frets over migration; Tunisia moves refugees to departure points: “Over the weekend, a massive police operation was undertaken. Witnesses said officers were drafted in from across much of the country. According to onlookers, the medina was cordoned off, and undocumented Black people – said by some to number in their thousands – were rounded up and put on buses before being driven out of Sfax to unknown locations. While many of those locations could not be verified, Al Amra, a principal departure point for sub-Saharan refugees seeking passage to Europe, appeared to have received many. That Al Amra is a significant departure point is widely acknowledged both within the town and among the network of drivers and lookouts who support the trade.”

See also

12.09.23: TNH: EU deal will only worsen racist abuse of migrants in Tunisia; 16.09.23: Reuters: Tunisia arrests migrants, seizes boats in major people-smuggling crackdown;

20.09.2323: Africa Brief: Kais Saied Cracks Down on Migrants, Again;

22.09.23: AJE: EU to start releasing money to Tunisia under migration pact; 22.09.23: taz: Transit vor Europa (A visit in Sfax);

29.09.23: africanews: Côte d'Ivoire: towards the introduction of a visa to enter Tunisia.


26.09.23: Brussels Times: Tunisian President denies entry to another EU delegation: “A second EU delegation has been denied entry into Tunisia, this time from the European Commission, the Tunisian Presidency announced in a press release on Tuesday. The scheduled trip was arranged to discuss the implementation of the controversial EU-Tunisia migration deal, just days after the EU released a first sum of €127 million to Tunisia as part of the agreement.”

See also

14.09.23: MEE: Tunisia: Decision to bar EU delegation a 'slap in the face' for diplomacy.


28.09.23: Guardian: ‘I had to drink my own urine to survive’: Africans tell of being forced into the desert at Tunisia border: “'At the beginning, Tunisia dismissed reports of forced returns,' said Hassan Boubakri, a geography and migration professor at the universities of Sousse and Sfax, as well as a migration consultant for the government. 'But little by little, they publicly admitted that some sub-Saharans were blocked on the Tunisian-Libyan border. The question is, who put them there? The Tunisian authorities did'.”

See also

28.09.23: Guardian: ‘It’s a torment’: refugee tells how his family died in desert on quest for a future in Europe.

Central and Subsaharan Africa


12.09.23: RFI: Tchad: la Banque mondiale annonce 340 millions pour faire face à l'afflux de réfugiés (Chad: the World Bank announces €340 million to deal with the influx of refugees): “The new funding, totalling $340 million, is intended to help Chad cope with the multiple crises affecting the country. First and foremost the Sudanese crisis, which has led to the arrival of 400,000 Sudanese refugees and Chadian nationals living in Darfur. This influx increases the need for food and socio-educational infrastructure.”


22.09.23: AJE: Ghana police arrest 49 as high cost of living triggers street protests: “At least 49 persons were arrested in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Thursday [21 September] as the police tried to prevent protesters trying to storm the seat of government – Jubilee House – on Thursday [21 September] over a lingering economic crisis. [...] The protest was organised by Democracy Hub, a governance advocacy group which condemned the use of ‘brute force to thwart a peaceful protest’, according to a statement issued on Thursday. We have ‘proven that we are indeed not timid people’.”


29.09.23: AJE: Malawi’s populist crackdown on refugees betrays its legacy: “The Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi is one of one of Africa’s largest. Thousands of vulnerable women, children and men have found home inside after having to escape violence in Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. Outside the camp, the refugees have established relations and businesses in towns, villages and cities. However, under President Lazarus Chakwera, Malawi has ordered all refugees who have settled in out-of-camp communities to herd back to the overcrowded Dzaleka camp. Reports say military force has been used to coerce refugees back into the camp.”

East Africa


19.09.23: AJE: Crimes against humanity continue in Ethiopia despite truce, say UN experts: “War crimes and crimes against humanity are still being committed in Ethiopia nearly a year after government and regional forces from Tigray agreed to end fighting, United Nations experts have said in a report published on Monday [18 September].”

See also

08.09.23: Guardian: Ethiopian troops accused of mass killings of civilians in Amhara region.


05.09.23: AJE: In Sudan’s South Darfur, armed men pillage, loot under cover of fighting: On August 21, the Sudanese army killed about 24 civilians shelling a market in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. Residents believe that fighters from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces were nearby, drawing the attack, but none was killed in it. Two days later, some 30 civilians – mostly women and children – were reportedly caught in a crossfire between the RSF and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) while hiding under Teiba Bridge, part of which fell, killing everyone underneath.

See also

07.09.23: AJE: Darfur victims await justice at ICC as Sudan war rages on.


10.09.23: AJE: Sudanese army kills at least 40 people in a drone attack on Khartoum: “A drone attack on an open market south of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, has killed at least 40 people, activists and medical workers said, as the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) battle for control of the country. At least 70 others were injured in the attack in Khartoum’s Mayo neighbourhood on Sunday, according to resistance committees and two healthcare workers at the Bashair University Hospital, where the casualties were treated. Many of them will require amputations.”

See also

06.09.23: AJE: At least 32 civilians killed in Sudan army attacks: Activists.


21.09.23: AJE: Analysis: Port Sudan fighting reflects tribal-army tensions: “For the first time in the conflict in Sudan, fighting broke out in Port Sudan between a tribal militia and the Sudanese army on Monday [18 September], and analysts say this reflects mounting tensions between eastern tribes and the army.Some eastern tribes fear the Sudanese army’s dominance threatens their ownership of land and could lead to an escalation in violence.”


23.09.23: AJE: Sudan army chief: ‘Revolution can be restored’: Speaking to Al Jazeera in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the military leader voiced his desire for a peaceful resolution to end fighting that has killed thousands and displaced millions of civilians. (But do not believe Burhan).

See also

06.09.23: AJE: US imposes sanctions on leaders in Sudan’s RSF over ‘extensive’ abuses;

07.09.23: AJE: Sudan’s army chief al-Burhan meets Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim in diplomatic push;

15.09.23: taz: Die UN-Diplomatie in Sudan ist gescheitert (UN Diplomacy in Sudan has Failed);

17.09.23: AJE: Sudan’s armed rivals fight on another front, international legitimacy.

West Africa


16.09.23: AJE: Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso establish Sahel security alliance: “Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have signed a mutual defence pact, as the three Sahel countries aim to help each other against possible threats of armed rebellion or external aggression. The charter, known as the Alliance of Sahel States, signed on Saturday [14 September] binds the signatories to assist one another – including militarily – in the event of an attack on any one of them.”

Burkina Faso

04.09.23: VOA: Iran Hails African Countries' Resistance to 'Colonialism': “Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday lauded African countries for resisting "colonialism" during a visit by Burkina Faso's foreign minister. [...] Iran has been bolstering ties across the African continent in an effort to reduce its isolation and offset the impact of crippling sanctions reimposed since the 2018 withdrawal of the United States from a painstakingly negotiated nuclear deal.”

Burkina Faso

28.09.23: AJE: Burkina Faso’s military rulers say coup attempt foiled, plotters arrested: Burkina Faso’s military rulers said in a statement on Wednesday that army officers and others had planned to seize power and plunge the country into “chaos”.Thousands of pro-military government demonstrators took to the streets of Ouagadougou and elsewhere on Tuesday to show their support for the country’s military rulers following a call from Traore supporters to “defend” him amid rumours of a mutiny circulated on social media.

See also

05.09.: At least 53 Burkina Faso soldiers, volunteers killed in clashes with rebels;

25.09.23: Jeune Afrique: Au Burkina Faso, toujours des tensions au sein de l’armée.


07.09.23: AJE: Attack on boat, army base in Mali kills at least 49 civilians, 15 soldiers: “Armed groups have attacked a passenger boat and military camp in Mali, killing at least 49 civilians and 15 soldiers, according to the country’s armed forces. Approximately 50 assailants were also killed in the attack. [...] A group affiliated with al-Qaeda has claimed credit for both attacks, according to the AFP.”

See also

21.09.23: Acleddata: Fact Sheet: Attacks on Civilians Spike in Mali as Security Deteriorates Across the Sahel.


24.09.23: Guardian: France to withdraw ambassador and troops from Niger: “France will withdraw its ambassador from Niger followed by the French military contingent in the next months, Emmanuel Macron has said in the aftermath of the coup in the west African country that ousted the pro-Paris president. [...] Macron added that military cooperation was over and French troops would withdraw in “the months and weeks to come” with a full pullout by the end of the year.”

See also

14.09.23: TNH: ‘Collective punishment’: Sanctions worsen humanitarian conditions in post-coup Niger;

14.09.23: AJE: US military resumes drone, crewed aircraft operations in post-coup Niger.


05.09.23: AJE: Nigerian unions strike again to protest soaring costs after subsidy removal: “The Nigeria Labour Congress has begun a two-day ‘warning strike’, their second in more than a month, to protest against the growing cost of living caused by the government’s removal of petrol subsidies. The union, the largest association of government workers nationwide, on Tuesday [5 September] threatened to ‘shut down’ Africa’s largest economy if their demands for improved welfare were not met. During a meeting last week, it said the decision of Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu to remove petrol subsidies in May has ‘unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and masses’.”


09.09.23: Reuters: Senegal's Sall backs PM Ba as ruling coalition's presidential candidate: “Senegal's President Macky Sall on Saturday named Prime Minister Amadou Ba as the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition's candidate for the February 2024 presidential election. Ba, 62, a former economy minister who had also held the position of foreign minister, is a taxation specialist who was appointed prime minister in September last year.”

West Asia


02.09.23: AJE: Dozens of people injured in clashes between rival Eritrean groups in Israel: “More than 100 people have been injured in clashes between rival groups of protesters from Eritrea in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv with the police firing warning shots in the air to disperse the demonstrators. Fighting broke out on Saturday [2 September] after hundreds of Eritreans critical of their government approached a venue where a pro-government event was being held.”


05.09.23: TAZ: Zweiter Frühling für Proteste (Second Spring for Protests): “In protest against the poor economic situation, people are once again taking to the streets in Syria to demand the fall of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Especially in the south of the country, which has been completely controlled by Damascus again for years, protests are stirring. With around 2,000 participants, the city of Suwaida saw the largest demonstration since the beginning of the protests a fortnight ago. But there were also demonstrations in the former protest stronghold of Daraa, in Aleppo, in the insurgent-controlled northwest of Syria and in the Kurdish-controlled Hasakeh region.”

See also

01.09.23: AJE: ‘Bashar out!’: Protests in southern Syria over economy now target president;

08.09.23: AJE: Antigovernment protesters tear down picture of al-Assad in Syria’s Sweida.

European Union


14.09.23: Maldusa: Lampedusa's Hotspot System: From Failure to Nonexistence: “During the day of 12 September alone, 110 iron, wooden and rubber boats arrived. 110 small boats, for about 5000 people in twenty-four hours. Well over the 'record' of 60 that had astonished many a few weeks ago. Numbers not seen for years, and which add up to the approximately 120,000 people who have reached Italy since January 2023 alone: already 15,000 more than the entire year 2022.”

See also

15.09.23: MMC: A damaging deal: abuses, departures from Tunisia continue following EU agreement;

15.09.23: Maldusa: The fall of the Lampedusa Hotspot, people’s freedom and locals’ solidarity;

22.09.23: taz: „Die Boote sinken sofort“ (“The boats sink immediately”);

27.09.23: taz: Fluchtpunkt im Meer (Vanishing point in the sea).


19.09.23: WA: Flüchtlingsdrama in Lampedusa: Von der Leyen pocht auf neue Frontex-Mission (Refugee drama in Lampedusa: Von der Leyen insists on new Frontex mission): “Von der Leyen advocated strengthening surveillance at sea and from the air by the European coast guard Frontex. Von der Leyen added that she supported exploring options to expand existing naval missions in the Mediterranean or working on new ones. Meloni, too, had called on Friday [15 September] for a European mission to stop boats carrying refugees on their way to Italy. If necessary, the navy must be deployed, she added.”

See also

16.09.23: Tagesspiegel: Faeser steht hinter Plänen zur verstärkten Luft- und Seeüberwachung (Faeser stands behind plans for increased air and sea surveillance);

17.09.23: EU Commisson: 10-Point Plan for Lampedusa;

22.09.23: AJE: Pope slams ‘indifference’ towards migrants arriving in Europe by sea.


28.09.23: Guardian: EU fails to agree changes to migration laws as Germany and Italy clash: “EU member states have failed to reach an agreement on changes to the bloc’s migration laws after Germany and Italy clashed over key proposals relating to human rights guarantees in detention centres and the role of NGOs in facilitating migrant arrivals.”

See also

12.09.23: Tagesschau: Deal ohne Nutzen? (A useless Deal?);

13.09.23: Tagesschau: Bund stoppt Aufnahme von Migranten aus Italien (Federation stops admission of migrants from Italy);

16.09.23: AJE: Analysis: Concerns raised in Brussels over EU-Tunisia migration pact;

27.09.23: Tagesschau: Scholz gibt Linie bei EU-Asylverschärfung vor (Scholz sets the tone for EU asylum tightening).


08.09.23: DLF: Frontex soll in Albanien tätig werden (Frontex shall be active in Albania): “The Council of the European Union announced in Brussels that an agreement on Frontex's operational activities in the Western Balkans would be signed. This would enable joint operations, it added. Albania lies on the so-called Western Balkans route, one of the main routes for refugees and migrants to Europe. Treaty still to be approved by EU parliament.”


15.09.23: ECRE Bulletin: “Executive Director of Frontex, Hans Leijtens has expressed reluctance to launch operations in Africa amid ongoing discussions to secure agreements with Senegal and Mauritania: 'The western African countries, but, perhaps in general, African countries are much more difficult to cooperate with and I have a lot of reluctance to be very frank,' he told MEPs on 7 September in response to questions on the agency’s plans for deployments in the two West-African states. 'I think it’s obvious that the negotiations should have all the checks and balances we need,' Leijtens added.”

Reports and Long Reads

20.09.23: TNH: Long hours and low budgets: Meet the refugee groups supporting Sudanese displaced in Egypt: “Egypt’s well-established Sudanese community is playing an important role in efforts to assist recently arrived refugees who have fled the destructive five-month conflict between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. More than 280,000 Sudanese have made the journey into neighbouring Egypt since April, braving tough conditions along the border, a deteriorating economic situation within the country, and limited assistance from international humanitarian agencies. To lessen the hardship, a group of 14 organisations run by Sudanese refugees and migrants – more than two million of whom live in Egypt – have formed a coordination platform that has reached tens of thousands of families since April.

22.09.23: ECRE: Editorial: Be Careful What You Wish For: EU and SAR in the Med: “The suggestion that a naval mission is under discussion should then be a cause for celebration, but as so often there’s a twist in the tale. Rather than rescuing people, the rumoured mission is supposed to put in place a naval blockade to prevent boats arriving in Europe. How an EU mission will be established with a mandate that is blatantly illegal has yet to be explained – at first sight, blockading the coast and watching while flimsy vessels sink and people drown, would appear to breach numerous provisions of international law.”

08.09.23: ECHOES: 8th issue of Echoes "Struggles for Freedom of Movement”: “With 112 landings and more than 5000 people on the move reaching Lampedusa in one single day, the 12th of September 2023 marked a new level of breaking through the Central Mediterranean borders. While we have already highlighted the tenacity of refugees and migrants in our last issues with reports and pictures from the last months, in September the dynamics reached another peak point. It remembers - not in its dimension but in its moments and spirit - the summer of migration in the Aegean Sea and on the Balkan route in 2015: a volatile situation of, on the one hand, humanitarian crises, border violence, and deaths at sea, and on the other hand, the powerful struggle for freedom of movement with thousands of people overcoming the violent and racist border regime.”

See also

Mediendienst: Hauptfluchtrouten nach Europa und Grenzzäune (Main flight routes to Europe and border fences) with updated figures.

09/23: PICUM and ERCE: Revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework:

Key Recommendations on Migration and Asylum: “The Commission proposes a budget increase of 65.8 billion euros including (in euros): 15 billion for what is termed 'migration and external challenges', which covers 2 billion for internal migration policy, 10.5 billion for external policy and 2.5 billion for humanitarian aid, often with a strong displacement focus.“

See also

21.09.23: Oxfam: From Development to Deterrence? Migration spending under the EU Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI).

21.09.23: Elephant: Tigray Atrocities: Extending ICHREE Mandate Crucial for Accountability: “Waged by the Ethiopian government, with substantial assistance from external entities, chiefly the Eritrean Defence Forces, a comprehensive blockade and media blackout were imposed on the region for over two years. The Tigray conflict led to a staggering 600 000 deaths, the deliberate starvation of over 5.7 million people, the pervasive use of rape and sexual assaults on thousands as weapons of war, and the displacement of more than 2 million in an ethnic cleansing campaign. ICHREE confirmed that between November 2020 and July 2023, over '10,000 survivors, primarily women and girls. By comparison, the Commission is aware of only 13 concluded and 16 pending Ethiopian military court cases addressing sexual violence committed during the conflict'.”

11.09.23: ECDPM: What does the regime change in Niger mean for migration cooperation with the EU?: “Given the importance of migration cooperation with Niger as a key interest of the EU, this brief examines the implications of the coup on migration cooperation between the European Union (EU) and its member states and Niger. It analyses what the change in government may mean for EU policymakers, especially for the externalisation of EU migration policies in Niger.”

14.09.23: Calais.Bordermonitoring: Deutscher Anteil am britischen Grenzregime (German share in the British border regime): “What exactly is the German part in the British border regime? We would like to explore this question in a loose sequence of contributions. We begin with the Calais Group, a framework created in 2021 for existing and, arguably, future projects.”

09/23: Intrasformazione: Tunisia: borders, migration, solidarity. A country report by Paolo Cuttitta and Nadia Chaouch: "The case of Tunisia demonstrates once again that European border externalization does not reach its aim of reducing irregularized migration. It only fuels racist sentiments, exclusionary policies and inhuman practices in the EU-neighbourhood, supporting authoritarian regimes rather than solidarity, democracy and the rule of law.”

30.09.23: AJE: The EU’s extractive trade policies in Tunisia contribute to migration: “In terms of the trade component of the deal, the memorandum of understanding outlines, inter alia, plans for investments in agriculture, green energy and digital transition. While it remains to be seen how this memorandum will further take shape, it can be read as a continuation of the EU’s trade policies towards its southern neighbour which have been criticised for systematically disadvantaging Tunisian small and medium enterprises. Against this backdrop, it appears unlikely that the migration deal will improve the situation for Tunisians, especially those from the rural areas who are trying to emigrate from the country en masse.”

07.09.23: AJE: Determination, hope and longing in the Tunisians fighting for a better life: “Tunisians themselves remain one of the largest groups attempting the crossing to Italy, making up a significant chunk of what the Italian government has stated is a 103 percent increase in the number of arrivals. Many are fleeing poverty, a tanking economy and a future without hope to a continent untroubled by the tumult of events that have engulfed Tunisia since its revolution of 2011.”

07.09.23: LMD Sahel – Aufstand der Autonomisten (Sahel and the Uprising of the Autonomists): “In the Sahel, the series of coups d'état continues unabated. The juntas present themselves as champions of a new sovereignty. Parts of the population support them in this. For them, the former colonial power France symbolises an ineffective international order imposed from above.”

08/23: Global Initiative: Motorbikes and armed groups in the Sahel: “This report examines how motorbikes are drivers of stability and instability in the Sahel region of West Africa. Specifically, it examines how variants of motorbike crime contribute to destabilization at a local economic level and in the broader Sahelian conflict. In that regard, the practices of motorbike theft and trafficking are examined. The involvement of the Sahel’s armed groups in trafficking is closely explored, and it is argued that motorbike trafficking is critical to the operations and mobility of JNIM and IS Sahel.”

27.08.23: DW: EU planning new Africa mission in Gulf of Guinea — report: European Union member states have agreed to begin a mission in the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, with police and soldiers deployed to Ghana, Togo, Benin and Ivory Coast, German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday, citing diplomats.

According to the paper, the mission will aim to train and advise local security forces, help prepare for anti-terror operations, give technical support and implement confidence-building measures in the security sector.

The mission is to be launched after formal approval is given by EU foreign ministers at a meeting in October in Luxembourg.

09/23: Redress: Torture in Egypt: A Crime Against Humanity: “This report provides a detailed legal analysis concluding that the Egyptian authorities’ use of torture is so widespread and systematic as to amount to a crime against humanity under customary international law by which Egypt is bound. It was written by REDRESS in collaboration with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), Dignity, the Committee for Justice (CFJ) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).”

29.08.23: Guardian: The Melilla massacre: how a Spanish enclave in Africa became a deadly flashpoint: In the aftermath of the fatal crush, the Spanish interior minister claimed that the closed border post was a “no man’s land”, beyond Spain’s jurisdiction. Yet the Spanish land registry record shows that 13,097 sq metres of the Barrio Chino, including the esplanade on the border crossing and the fence on which some migrants perished, falls within the Spanish domain and is the state’s property. Nonetheless, Spanish authorities continue to claim that no migrants had died on its territory. In other words, it wasn’t Spain’s – or the EU’s – problem.


18.09.23: Joint Statement: Arrivals in Lampedusa: Solidarity and resistance in the face of Europe's reception crisis! Following the arrival of a record number of people on the move in Lampedusa, civil society expresses its deep concern at the security response of European states, the crisis of reception, and reaffirms its solidarity with people on the move arriving in Europe. The project also signed this call.


10.10.23, 4 pm GMT // 6 pm CEST, online: Frontex and other Security Actors in West Africa by Brot für die Welt, Migration-Control.Info and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung West Africa Regional Office: “The European Union’s border control is increasingly expanding towards West Africa. Since the mid 2000’s, European security actors like the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and the Spanish Guardia Civil have been present in different countries of the region. Following the EU Commission’s announcement in 2022 to conclude Frontex Status Agreements with both Mauritania and Senegal, these operations are set to deepen further. Despite their unprecedented nature and profound implications for human rights and state sovereignty, these initiatives lack transparency and public scrutiny. This must change. Therefore, the online-event will (1) give an overview of activities of Frontex and other European security actors in West-Africa; (2) analyze the political and human rights implications of their activities in Senegal, Niger and Mauritania thus far; (3) discuss political strategies to critically engage with these activities. Following the coup d’etat in Niger, the event will also explore what consequences it might have for further externalization efforts.”

With inputs by Tineke Strik, Moctar dan Yaye, Saliou Diof, Mariana Gkliati, Jane Kilpatrick, Leonie Jegen, Hassan Ould Moctar.

11.10.23, 6 - 8 pm CEST, online: ICMPD and IOM: Securitisation and Externalisation of the EU Border Regime by the Border Violence Monitoring Network: “The webinar will focus on how the EU border regime is securitised and externalised in different geographraphical regions, their transnational entanglements and how these processes and policies materialise in different border zones. The panel will ask how the securitisation policy of the EU border regime is strategically planned and implemented, where it fails and how these mechanisms of violence can be resisted. Organisations like ICMPD and IOM play a central role in EU externalisation policies in terms of the management and control of people on the move in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and North Africa.”