October 21

New on migration-control.info


Blog „Operationalization of the Pact“: Niger, Libyia, Morocco, Tunisia:  “Operationalization of the Pact – Action plans for strengthening comprehensive migration partnerships with priority countries of origin and transit” – these previously unpublished Draft Papers by the EU Commission Services are an important source on the EU’s background activities towards Libya, Morocco,and Tunisia. The complementary one about Niger has previously been published by Statewatch. 

Blog Further EU documents on the „Operationalization of the Pact“: In a previous post, we published EU documents on the “Operationalization of the Pact” on Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. In addition, we collect these Action Plans also for Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Nigeria. Further, we publish the EU paper on the “Update on the state of play on external cooperation in the field of migration policy“.

Wiki Genealogie der Flüchtlingsabwehr: Lager von Eberhard Jungfer: Der Beitrag zieht eine Linie von den kolonialen Lagern und den Flüchtlingslagern in Afrika bis zu den Hot Spots an den Grenzen Europas.

Wiki The International Organization for Migration (IOM) by Inken Bartels: In her report, Inken Bartels answers questions such as who the IOM actually is, what agenda it pursues and how it relates to the much-cited „migration management“. She also sheds light on the consequences of the IOM’s migration policy activities and its role in the production of statistics in the field of migration.


East Africa


Ethiopia 20.10.21: taz: Hungerblockade gegen Tigray (Starvation blockade against Tigray): Ethiopia’s civil war between the national government and the regional authorities in Tigray is becoming increasingly brutal, after the Ethiopian military attempted to take back the region of Tigray by launching a military attack in the second week of October. The military offense led to rising numbers of displaced people and several deaths. This has been the first airstrike since the conflict started in the beginning of 2020. Aid agencies warn of dramatic famine in Tigray, where hardly any food is reaching civilians. 

See also 11.10.21: TNH: Expulsions, blockade thwart Tigray relief as fresh offensive launched;  04.11.21: TNH: Ethiopia conflict sees hunger and atrocities spread from Tigray to Amhara

Sudan 27.10.21: Al Jazeera: Sudan: Abdalla Hamdok returned to home, remains under guard: The deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his wife have reportedly been released and given permission to return to his home after being detained by the military. After the arrest occurred on 25 October, they were released just a day after. The arrest of the Prime Minister and other officials had sparked international disapproval, while the tension between civil and military leaders had been rising for weeks before the intended coup and arrest of the Prime Minister finally took place. The release followed massive protests of Sudanese civilians and companies, who protested against the attempted military coup.

See also  18.10.21: taz: Machtkampf in Sudan: Lage in Khartum spitzt sich zu (Power struggle in Sudan: Situation in Khartoum comes to a head); 20.20.21: Al Jazeera: Sudan transition at ‘critical juncture’ as power struggle deepens; 21.01.21: Al Jazeera: Crowds take to Sudan’s streets after calls for rival protests; 22.10.21: Middle East Eye: Dozens injured as rival camps take to the streets; 25.10.21: Middle East Eye: Sudan coup 2021: Army head declares emergency, dissolves government; 27.10.21: taz: Mit einem langen Atem gegen Sudans Putsch (With a long breath against Sudan’s coup); 30.10.21 Al Jazeera: Three shot dead during nationwide protests against Sudan coup

North Africa

Egypt 04.10.21: Middle East Monitor: Egypt will accept returned refugees in exchange for military, security incentives from Italy, sources say: “Sources have told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that plans are underway to improve a secret cooperation agreement between Egypt and Italy in which Cairo will continue to accept returned refugees attempting to reach Europe in exchange for military and security incentives from the European country.”

Egypt 18.10.21: Al Jazeera: Judges postpone trials of three Egypt activists: A leading figure in Egypt’s 2011 revolution, blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, appeared in court on Monday along with other co-defendants at the start of a new trial, his defence team said.

Egypt 01.11.21: Refugee Platform Egypt: Egypt continues to deport Asylum-seekers despite the Risk of Torture: On Sunday, the 31rt of October, Egyptian authorities deported eight Eritrean asylum seekers from Cairo to Asmara, the Eritrean capital, violating the principle on Non-Refoulement. Among the deported were children and people with chronic diseases.

Libya euobserver: 11.10.21: Libya to get new EU-funded boats despite crimes: “The European Commission aims to deliver new ‚P150‘ class patrol boats to the Libyan coast guard, despite possible crimes against humanity at detention centres where migrants intercepted at sea are often sent.”

See also 04.10.21: Info Migrants: Méditerranée centrale : près de 650 personnes interceptées par les garde-côtes libyens en deux jours (Central Mediterranean: nearly 650 people intercepted by Libyan coastguards in two days), 04.10.21: Libya Review: Greece to Train Libyan Coast Guard; 06.10.21: France24: 17 migrants found dead on Libya beach: coast guard;  31.10.21: Libyan Express: Mass deportation of Bangladeshi migrants from Libya continues

Libya 22.20.21: Al Jazeera: Thousands of refugees and migrants plead for Libya evacuation: Thousands of refugees and migrants have been camped out in front of a United Nations centre in Tripoli for three weeks, calling for evacuation from Libya in the wake of sweeping raids that saw thousands arrested. The renewed appeals at the sit-in come even as the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said it had suspended work at the centre in the Libyan capital following the latest crackdown.

See also 02.10.21: Al Jazeera: Libya detains 4,000 people in major anti-migrant crackdown; 08.10.21: Guardian: Reports of physical and sexual violence as Libya arrests 5,000 migrants in a week; 11.10.21: Internazionale: Libia: Le violenze contro i migranti in Libia ora si compiono alla luce del sole (Violence against migrants in Libya is now taking place in broad daylight)  

Tunisia/Libya 05.10.21: France24: Tunisia: Hundreds of migrants, including pregnant women, deported to Libyan desert: “Tunisian human rights organisations have been sharing footage of Tunisian officials transporting a group of migrants to the border with Libya on September 27 and abandoning them in the desert. The group, which was intercepted trying to reach Europe by boat, was made up of about a hundred men, women and children, including at least three pregnant women.”

Tunisia 24.10.21: Al Jazeera: Analysis: How Tunisia reached financial meltdown: Tunisia’s unemployment rate reached 17.8 percent in March with 600,000 Tunisians falling below the poverty line following two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Africa

ECOWAS/ WAEMU/ EU: 09.10.21: FAAPA: West Africa Regional Seminar on EU NDICI underway in Accra: “The West Africa Regional Seminar on the Programming of the European Union (EU) Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – 2021-2027, is underway in Accra. The objective of the three-day meeting is to enable ECOWAS, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and Member States to share information about their level of readiness in submitting projects/initiatives to be funded through the regional Multi-Annual Indicative Programme 2021-2027.”

ECOWAS: 19.10.21: Market Screener: ECOWAS Strengthens Its Security Architecture With The Inauguration Of The Wapis Centre In The Gambia: On October 14, 2021 the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) Data Collection and Registration Centre was inaugurated in Gambia’s capital Banjul. The set up of the Centre is funded by the EU under the aegis of the ECOWAS Commission and will operationalize the WAPIS system in the Gambia by “bringing together all the security apparatus into the process of collection, storage and sharing of criminal data at national, regional and global level respectively.” With the launch of similar centres foreseen in other ECOWAS states, as well as Mauritania and Chat, the programme aims to contribute to strengthening regional police data exchange.  

Burkina Faso 22.10.21: Africa News: Burkina Faso lifts ban on Norwegian Refugee Council: After being banned from camps for displaced people in Burkina Faso since the end of September the government lifted the ban on the Norwegian Refugee Council on 21 October. After allegedly “discrediting the government” the organization was suspended to continue its work with internally displaced people “in most accessible zones”. 

See also 01.10.21: AP: Burkina Faso suspends Norwegian Refugee Council’s operations 

Mauretania 09.10.21: Saharamedias: Mauritanie : 86 migrants clandestins interceptés près de Nouadhibou (Mauritania: 86 illegal migrants intercepted near Nouadhibou): The Mauritanian national navvy intercepted a boat carrying 86 Senegalese and Gambian citizen on Saturday off the coast of Nouadhibou. The boat had reportedly left for the Canary Islands from the Senegalese city of Saint Louise and had at its point of interception been at sea for ten days. 

Mali 12.10.21: Africa News: Mali : début du transfert de Barkhane de la base de Kidal (Mali: start of the transfer of Barkhane from the Kidal base): In their bid to redraw from Mali, the French Barkhane force began the final phase of the transfer of their military base in Kidal, a town in northern Mali,to the United Nations mission MINUSMA and the Malian army this month. 

See also 10.21: Esprit: Ce sable sur lequel on bâtit. La politique française au Sahel (The sand on which we build. French policy in the Sahel)

Mali/USA 05.10.21: VOA: Pentagon Warns Against Deal Bringing Russian Mercenaries to Mali: “For weeks, U.S. and French officials have publicly tried to dissuade Malian leaders from moving forward with a reported deal that would pay Wagner $10.8 million a month for 1,000 mercenaries to train Mali’s military and provide security for senior officials. Now, the Pentagon says such a deal could cost Mali in multiple ways.”

See also 01.10.21: Al Jazeera: Mali receives helicopters and weapons from Russia

Niger 13.10.21: A Niamey: Insécurité : retour de l’interdiction de circulation des motos dans certains départements et communes de la région de Tillabéri (Insecurity: return of the ban on motorbikes in some departments and communes of the Tillabéri region): Following rising violence in the Western region of Niger, the Governor of the Tillabéri region reinstalled a ban on motorcycles in the departments of Say, Torodi, Gothèy, Téra, Bankilaré, Ayerou and Tillabéri as well as the rural communes of Dessa and Anzourou. 

See also 23.09.21: THN: What’s behind the rising violence in Western Niger?


European Union

European Council 05.10.21: Statewatch: EU: Tracking the Pact: Presidency seeks to rush through new rules with border detention as „a key measure“: “Member states see the use of detention as „a key measure“ for the purpose of carrying out the „screening“ of people arriving irregularly at the EU’s external borders, according to the Slovenian Presidency, which hopes to rush the measures through to „strengthen the protection of the external borders and prevent illegal migration.“” This measure is considered part of the “Pact on Migration and Asylum”. 

European Council 07.10.21: European Council: Council adopts visa measures against The Gambia: “The Council today [7 October 2021] decided to temporarily suspend the application of certain provisions in the visa code to nationals of The Gambia. This decision was taken due to the country’s lack of cooperation on readmission of third-country nationals illegally staying in the EU.”

EU Member States 08.10.21: euobserver: Dozen ministers want EU to finance border walls: “Interior ministers from 12 member states are demanding the EU finance border-wall projects to stop migrants entering through Belarus, in a further push towards creating a fortress Europe.” The original letter can be found here.

Frontex 08.10.21 Digit.site36: WhatsApp to Libya: How Frontex uses a trick to circumvent international law: The EU is not allowed to return refugees to countries where they face persecution. In 2017, the Commission therefore set up a backdoor for refoulement to North Africa. Published text messages now reveal how Frontex is providing aerial reconnaissance for the Libyan coast guard.

Fundamental Rights Agency/Greece 22.10.21: FragDenStaat: Prisons in Paradise: How the EU put refugees behind barbed wire: “After the burning of the Moria camp in Lesvos, refugees on the Greek islands are being moved to new camps that resemble prisons. Documents published by us reveal the EU Fundamental Rights Agency advised against these camps. The EU built them anyway.”

See also (in German) https://dasneuemoria.eu/




Belarus/Poland 22.20.21: ECRE: EU Eastern Borders: Eighth Body Found, Thousands Protest Pushbacks, Citizens and NGOs Find Novel Ways to Deliver Aid, Germany Reports Uptick in Border Crossings:The dire humanitarian situation in the EU eastern border zone dates back to August, when Belarus promised crisis regions to the EU border. Poland has responded by violently forcing people back to Belarusian territory, passing legislation allowing for the expulsion of people seeking asylum and planning a 353 million euro border wall. On 20 October, police and border guards reported finding the dead body of a 19-year-old Syrian man in the Bug river at the border. They claim the man was pushed into the river by Belarusian security forces. Eight people have lost their lives in the standoff between the EU and Belarus since the summer, according to state authorities.”


See also 02.10.21: Le Monde: Le Danemark offre des barbelés coupants à la Lituanie pour sa clôture antimigrants (Denmark offers razor wire to Lithuania for its anti-migrant fence); 05.10.21: Info Migrants: Biélorussie : les députés adoptent une loi qui autorise le pays à refuser les migrants en provenance de l’UE (Belarus: MPs pass law allowing country to refuse EU migrants); 14.10.21: SZ: Polens Parlament billigt Bau von Befestigung an EU-Außengrenze (Poland’s parliament approves construction of fortification on EU external border); 15.10.21: InfoMigrants: Poland passes law allowing migrant pushbacks at border; 21.10.21: German Foreign Policy: Flüchtlingssterben im Niemandsland (Refugee Deaths in No-Mans-Land); 23.10.21 taz: Europas Grenzen (Europe’s borders); 29.10.21: Mediendienst Integration: Wer kommt über Belarus nach Deutschland?  (Who is coming to Germany via Belarus?)

France/UK 02.10.21: Evening Standard: French police shoot migrants with rubber bullets in a bid to stop them coming to Britain: “French police have fired rubber bullets at migrants to stop them from crossing the Channel to the UK. The shooting happened at nighttime as bullets were fired at eight Iranian Kurds who were carrying a dinghy towards the water at a beach in Dunkirk. Two men received hospital treatment after being hit by the bullets on September 22.”

Greece 29.10.21: Al Jazeera: Greece rescues cargo ship carrying 400 migrants and refugees: On 29 October the Greek coastguard rescued a vessel which came, according to the people on board, from Turkey. The rescue is said to be “one of the largest search and rescue operations carried out in the Eastern Mediterranean”

Italy 21.10.21: Avenire: Migranti. Archiviazione anche per Sea Watch. Così si sfalda la dottrina anti Ong (Migrants. Archiving also for Sea Watch. This is how the anti-NGO doctrine breaks down): Italy’s highest court ruled this month that violence endured in Libyan detention centres constitutes a ground for protection. 

Italy 20.10.21: Una nuova archiviazione in arrivo per la Mare Jonio (A new case  is coming for Mare Jonio) : Members of the crew of Mare Jonio, a civilan search and rescue vessel, operated by Mediterranea, were acquitted by the prosecutor’s office Agrigento this month. The rulling followed charges of “aggravated aiding and abetting illegal immigration” after the rescuers rejection to disembark civilians in Libya in 2019. In view of the situation in Libya and the role of the coast guard, the prosecutors found that the organisation should not have been required to disembark people there.


15.10.21 ARCI Porco Rosso and Alarm Phone with support by Borderline Sicilia and borderline-europe: From Sea to Prison. The Criminalization of Boat Drivers in Italy: “Italy has spent decades pursuing people who have done nothing other than drive a boat of migrants towards its shores, utilizing criminal law, undercover police operations and emergency anti-Mafia powers to re-enforce Europe’s border regime. We have spoken to hundreds of people involved – persons accused of boat driving, ex-prisoners, lawyers, researchers, activists, judges and members of the police and Coast Guard – and studied dozens of court sentences to reveal the full extent of Italy’s process of criminalizing migration.”

October 2021: borderline-europe: Rettung Unerwünscht. Italiens Versuche, die Seenotrettung Geflüchteter zu kriminalisieren (Rescue Unwanted. Italy’s attempts to criminalise the rescue of refugees at sea): In the report, borderline-europe tries to give an overview of Search and Rescue cases from 2002-2020 and to place them in their respective political context. It does not claim to be exhaustive, but is intended to show how Italian and European politics keep coming up with new methods to block sea rescue and thus let people die. borderline-europe shows in the report that not only the civilian sea rescue associations and platforms, but also the rescuing fishermen have been victims of the European sealing-off policy since the early 2000s.

October 2021 Border Violence Monitoring Network: Illegal Push-Backs and Border Violence Reports. September 2021. Balkan Region: BVMN “published 35 testimonies of pushbacks in September, sharing the experience of 815 people-on-the-move at borders across the Balkans. This report looks at a number of trends in these violent expulsions, such as beatings, sexual violence, outsourcing of pushbacks and maritime violations.”

07.10.21 Human Rights Watch: Enforced Misery. The Degrading Treatment of Migrant Children and Adults in Northern France: “Repeated mass evictions from encampments and other policing efforts to push migrant adults and children out of Calais and Grande-Synthe have not discouraged new arrivals and do not appear to have reduced irregular Channel crossings. But policing practices in these two towns, along with policies that restrict distributions of food, water, and other essentials by humanitarian groups, have made migrants’ lives increasingly miserable.”

21.10.21: Human Rights Watch: “Our Lives Are Like Death”. Syrian Refugee Returns from Lebanon and Jordan: “Syrian refugees who voluntarily returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of Syrian government and affiliated militias, including torture, extra-judicial killings, and kidnappings. The majority of those interviewed by Human Rights Watch also struggled to survive and meet their basic needs in a country decimated by conflict and widespread destruction.”

06.10.21 Lighthouse Reports and several other media outlets: Unmasking Europe’s Shadow Armies: “Lighthouse Reports led a joint investigation with Der Spiegel, SRF, Rundschau, ARD Monitor, ARD Studio Wien, Libération, RTL Croatia, Novosti and Pointer, spent eight months gathering testimony, tracing chains of command, tracking social media and satellite imagery and following the money trails back to EU funds. The visual evidence was corroborated by interviews with more than a dozen serving and former police and coast guard officers, as well as witness accounts by pushback victims across the three EU countries. What emerges is the most detailed picture yet of a previously deniable campaign of illegal, violent pushbacks in Croatia, Greece and Romania by masked men whose uniforms have been stripped of any identifying details.”

01.10.21: OHCHR: Report of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya: A fact-finding report by the OHCHR found that there “are reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes have been committed in Libya, while violence perpetrated in prisons and against migrants there may amount to crimes against humanity”, as a press release summarizes.


Action Day Abolish-Frontex Campaign: Across Europe, there will be actions of the Abolish-Frontex campaign on 18.12.2021. Frontex, the de facto border police of the EU, is a central component of the inhumane and racist policy of isolation of the EU.

Call Call for evacuation of people from Libya: Abolish Frontex supports the demands of more than 3000 refugees and migrants in Libya who have been protesting outside the UNHCR Community Day Centre since the beginning of October and publishes their statement here. You can follow the demonstrators via @RefugeesinLibya.

Campaign Not On My Border Watch: This campaign launched by several human rights organisations raises attention for the first legal action for damages on behalf of a Syrian family against Frontex at the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg. With a created email citizens can send to the EU Commissioner Johansson, the coalition demands: Stop border atrocities by the EU and Frontex; not on our border watch!

Launch ElHiblu3 Freedom Commission: The commission is a diverse and independent alliance of human rights advocates, scholars, and religious leaders to highlight the injustice of the trial, to urge the Maltese authorities to immediately dismiss the trial against the ElHiblu3 and to demand the freedom for the three teeangers. 

Open Letter Letter in Solidarity with Mimmo Lucano: The Abolish Frontex network has written an open letter to the Italian government in solidarity with Mimmo Lucano, the mayor who was recently convicted to 13 years in prison for his support for people on the move.

Petition Grève de la faim à Calais : arrêt de la maltraitance des personnes exilées (Solidarity Hunger Strike in Calais): As an act of solidarity with people in exile, three activists started an indefinite hunger strike in Calais on 11 October. In a petition, they demand the end of evictions, the end of confistications of tents and personal belongings of exiled persons and the opening of a “citizen dialogue”.

Petition Eil-Appell: Not an der polnisch-belarussischen Grenze – Jetzt Leben retten! (Urgent appeal: Emergency at the Polish-Belarusian border – Save lives now!): “A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding on the EU’s eastern external border: people have been trapped between Poland and Belarus for weeks. They are at risk of freezing to death or starving in the border area. At least eight people have already died. This misery must come to an end!”

Referendum Referendum against Frontex: Defund Frontex: Freedom of movement instead of border violence for all: “The Swiss parliament has decided to strengthen the European border protection agency Frontex with 61 million Swiss francs annually. […] A referendum requires 50,000 signatures from people eligible to vote in Switzerland. The signatures must be collected by the end of 2021.”


Online Discussion 08.11.21 // 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm (UTC + 0) // COP26 Coalition Broadcasting Live from Glasgow: Climate Walls – How the Militarisation of Borders drives Injustice and What We Can Do About It: exacerbates displacement, the border industry is cashing in on anxiety about the future and states are investing billions in military, surveillance, and control systems. Border control as a climate adaptation strategy doesn’t work, causes unquantifiable human suffering, and draws investment away from real climate action – join us and help hold the new climate profiteers to account.

Presentation of a Study 09.11.21 // 13:30 – 15:30 (CET) // Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung: European  Refugee women and intersectionality in the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum: The presented study  analyses the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum and its related proposal for a Screening Regulation from an intersectional perspective.

Study Day 10.11.21 // 10:00 – 17:30 CET // Online The UK-France-Belgium Crossborder Forum: „Deconstructing the UK-France-Belgium border and building bridges“: “The UK’s border with France and Belgium has gained hyper-visibility over the last year as a result of an increase in small boat crossings across the Channel, and the ever-worsening situation for those stuck at the border zones in France and Belgium. This conference brings together activists, NGO workers and engaged scholars from multiple sectors and disciplines to discuss different aspects of the border set-up, including new forms of bordering but also ways in which different actors could challenge this together.”

Webinar 10.11.2021 // 5 pm (GMT) // Refugee Studies Centre: E. Tendayi Achiume: “Empire, Asylum, and Refugee Responsibility Sharing”, the Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2021

(Online) Panel Discussion 15.11.21 // 12:30 – 14:00 (EST) // Refugee Law Lab: Sharp Borders: Technology, Pushbacks, and Interdisciplinary Investigation: The interdisciplinary panel brings together journalists and civil society who discuss the growing practice of pushbacks at European borders, facilitated by increased surveillance and a lack of accountability. Speakers are the audio journalist Lydia Emmanouilidou, investigative reporter Giorgos Christides, and migrant justice organizer and co-founder of Josoor Natalie Grueber, reflecting on broader trends and individual cases from the frontlines. Register here.

(Online) Roundtable 16.11.21 // 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm (GMT -4) // Cornell University: Indigenous Movement: Dispossession, Return, and Imposed Borders: “This interdisciplinary panel and discussion will focus on Indigenous movement through archeology, art, and history. Recognizing the need to understand borders and migration as rooted in histories of dispossession and racism, this roundtable will focus in particular on settler colonialism in the Northeast and the dispossession of Haudenosaunee peoples (…).”

Online Event 18.11.21 // 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (GMT) // Statewatch: Secrecy in the European Union: how to exercise your right to information: “In this workshop we will look at how governments have sought to maintain secrecy in the EU, how individuals and organizations have fought back, and teach you how you can exercise your right to access information.”

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