MONTHLY REVIEW: DECEMBER 2021
This monthly press review covers Eurafrican migration control, migration and displacement in African countries and news on the European border regime. In case there is a news item, report, or campaign you would like to flag for in next month’s review please write us to email@example.com or on Twitter @MigControl
NEW ON MIGRATION-CONTROL.INFO
Blog Flüchtlingsabwehr und Klima-Imperialismus von Eberhard Jungfer, Redaktion Migration Control: Unsere Redaktion hat sich zum Auftakt der Ampelkoalition einen Eindruck über den Koalitionsvertrag verschafft und diesen in einem Blogpost zusammengetragen.
Blog Urgent: Egyptian authorities continue deportations to Eritrea by the Refugees Platform in Egypt: On the 23rd December 2021, Egypt forcibly deported 25 asylum seekers to Eritrea. About 200 Eritrean asylum seekers, detained in various Egyptian detention centers, are still at risk to be deported to Eritrea by the Egyptian authorities. To raise awareness about their situation, we repost the report The crime: Seeking asylum in Egypt – Case report on arbitrary detention and forcible deportation of Eritrean asylum seekers by the Refugees Platform in Egypt (RPE) to raise awareness about their situation. Deportations to Eritrea violate international human rights and refugee law. The EU considers Egypt as “a key partner” and is “ready to deepen cooperation, with financial support, on migration in all its aspects, as the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson shared on Twitter in November.
Blog A Message from Parwana Amiri in Ritsona: Protests against state neglect: For the past three months, the Greek authorities have suspended the financial support for asylum seekers in Greece. In solidarity with the protesters in Ritsona and across the country, we relay here the voice of Parwana Amiri from Ritsona camp.
Blog RefugeesInLibya: Ein ungehörter Massenprotest von Dorothée Krämer: Die Internationale Gemeinschaft ignoriert seit Jahren das Leid Flüchtender in Libyen. Der Handlungsspielraum des UNHCR ist klein, für die meisten Menschen kann er nichts tun. Tausende Flüchtende sind sich selbst überlassen, in einem ständigen Kreislauf aus Lagersystem, Flucht und erneuter Festnahme. Doch trotz der katastrophalen Situation gelingt es ihnen, sich zu organisieren und auf ihre Lage aufmerksam zu machen.
Central African Republic 21.12.2021: HumAngle: Number Of IDPs In Central African Republic Reaches 669,791: “The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Central African Republic has increased from 664,491 to 669,791 in the last one month. The Central African Republic National Commission for the Movement of the Population, revealed that 178,356 of these IDPs were housed in special sites created for displaced persons, while 483,464 others are living with benevolent compatriots as of Nov. 30, 2021.”
DRC/Zambia 22.12.2021: VOA: Thousands of Congolese Refugees in Zambia Opting to Go Home: “The violence in Haut-Katanga province has subsided, allowing for the safe return of refugees to their home country. […] nearly 5,000 Congolese refugees have decided to return home under the auspices of the U.N. refugee agency and Zambian authorities. A first group of 100 people left Mantapala settlement in Zambia’s Luapula province Tuesday for Pweto territory in Haut-Katanga.”
Uganda/DRC 14.12.21: taz: Mit Bulldozern gegen Rebellen (With bulldozers against rebels): Uganda’s military intervention against ADF rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo is spearheading broader economic integration. Meanwhile the EAC is considering accepting the DRC as a member of their supranational Union, which is considered to strengthen regional economy.
See also 30.11.21: Al Jazeera: Uganda launches air and artillery raids against ADF in DRC
Ethiopia 24.12.21: Al Jazeera: Ethiopia gov’t says army will not go deeper into Tigray, for now: “The federal army and its allies have made strong advances in recent weeks, recapturing major towns and cities in the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions that Tigrayan fighters had seized earlier this year. The Tigrayan forces have been forced to retreat to their home region. […] The Ethiopian government’s military appears to have been strengthened by aerial armed drones purchased from China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, said William Davison, of the International Crisis Group.”
See also NYT 20.12.21: Foreign Drones Tip the Balance in Ethiopia’s Civil War; 23.12.2021: AP News: U.N. says 22 million Ethiopians will need food aid in 2022;
Kenya 17.12.21: The Guardian: Drought devastates Kenya: “In October, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional trade bloc, and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization warned that 26 million people were struggling for food after consecutive seasons of poor rainfall in the Horn of Africa.[…] The authority’s efforts have been hamstrung by a lack of funds and it is now redirecting money from other projects to deal with the crisis. The actions of Mohamed Abdi, the former Wajir county governor impeached in April amid allegations of corruption, is said to have exacerbated the problem.”
Somalia 27.12.21: Al Jazeera: Somalia’s president suspends prime minister amid election spat: “Somalia’s president said on Monday [27 December] he had suspended the prime minister for suspected corruption, a move the prime minister described as a coup attempt, escalating a power struggle between the two leaders. The months-long dispute has seen President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble trade allegations over the holding up of parliamentary elections, and is widely seen as distracting the government from fighting the al-Shabab armed group.”
Sudan 01.12.21: Politico: Top Sudan general warns country could be source of refugee influx to Europe: “Europe and the U.S. may face a refugee surge from Sudan if they don’t support the country’s regime under the new military-led government, according to a top Sudanese general. Senior General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo told POLITICO that Europe and the U.S have little choice but to support the latest government to avert a refugee crisis — and he noted that Sudan’s borders are kept in check by the military, which is coming under criticism from the West for staging a coup.”
Sudan 30.12.21: Der Spiegel: Sicherheitskräfte setzen Tränengas gegen Tausende Demonstranten ein (Security forces use tear gas against thousands of demonstrators): Two months after the military coup, security forces in Sudan again used tear gas against several thousand demonstrators on Thursday. Bridge connections to the capital Khartoum were closed and telephone connections cut. Internet connections were also blocked. Police and military patrolled everywhere in Khartoum. Protests were also reported from other cities.
See also 06.12.21 Al Jazeera: Sudan police fire tear gas as thousands protest against milita; TNH 14.12.21: Guardians of the revolution: The street activists defying Sudan’s coup; 19.12.21: Al Jazeera: Tear gas fired at Sudan’s anti-coup protesters in Khartoum; TAZ 20.12.21: Die Straßen des Protests (The Streets of Protest); 25.12.21: Al Jazeera: Sudan forces fire tear gas to disperse anti-coup protesters
Sudan/Darfur 31.12.21: Al Jazeera: UN food agency suspends North Darfur operation after attacks: “The World Food Programme (WFP) has suspended its operations across Sudan’s North Darfur state following attacks this week on all three of its warehouses in the capital, El Fasher, including the theft of more than 5,000 metric tons (tonnes) of food. The move is expected to affect close to two million people in the area in 2022, the United Nations’ food agency said in a statement on Thursday [30 December].”
See also 10.12.21: The Guardian: Dozens die and thousands flee in West Darfur tribal fighting; 24.12.21: Dabanga: New displaced in Darfur, Nuba Mountains still waiting for aid; 30.12.21: Al Jazeera: Curfew imposed in North Darfur after gunmen loot UN food warehouse; 31.12.21: Al Jazeera: UN food agency suspends North Darfur operation after attacks
Tanzania 28.12.21: taz: “Voluntary” Repatriation of Refugees from Burundi: The UNHCR organises the „voluntary repatriation“ of Burundian refugees from Tanzania to their home country. Voluntarily? Anaclet Nkunzimana was abducted from his camp and is now in prison in Burundi
Libya 13.12.21 InfoMigrants: Libye: des migrants expulsés illégalement dans le désert du Sahara (Libya: migrants deported illegally in the Sahara desert): In one month, some thirty Sudanese migrants have been expelled from Libya, in the Sahara desert, along the border with Sudan „without any respect for legal procedures“, the UN has expressed alarm. Others from Eritrea, Somalia and Chad have also been illegally expelled or „could be at any time“.
Libya/Mediterranean 27.12.21: DW: Seenotretter retten Hunderte Migranten (Sea rescuers save hundreds of migrants): A rescue ship of the private aid organisation Sea-Watch has taken almost 100 more people on board from a boat in distress in the Mediterranean Sea. It was the fifth mission within three days, the German SAR mission announced on Sunday evening. A total of 446 rescued migrants were on board the „Sea-Watch 3“, including a two-week-old baby and a heavily pregnant woman. All guests were being cared for and given medical attention.
See also 17.12.21: taz: Flucht übers Mittelmeer: Fast 200 Menschen gerettet (Escape across the Mediterranean Sea: Almost 200 people rescued); 23.12.2021: InfoMigrants: Mediterranean: Hundreds of migrants rescued by Geo Barents
Libya 24.12.21: Al Jazeera: In Libya, anger and uncertainty after polls delayed: “Libyans have reacted with a mix of anger and hopelessness after authorities announced the postponement of a crucial presidential election initially scheduled to take place on Friday. The electoral commission on Wednesday suggested the vote – aimed at ending a decade of chaos in the country – be pushed back by a month, owing to a lack of preparedness and disagreements between various political forces on the legal basis of the poll.”
See also 21.12.21: The Guardian: Fears of Libya violence as UN races to manage election postponement; 24.12.21: Al Jazeera: Western powers urge Libya to set new election date ‘swiftly’
Libya 26.12.2021: Al Jazeera: Bodies of some 27 refugees wash ashore in Libya: Red Crescent: “The bodies of at least 27 Europe-bound refugees have washed ashore in western Libya, the country’s Red Crescent has said – the latest tragedy on the world’s deadliest migration route. […] About 1,500 refugees have drowned in numerous boat mishaps and shipwrecks in the Central Mediterranean route this year, according to the UN migration agency.”
Morocco 21.12.21: InfoMigrants: Over 12,000 migrants intercepted in Morocco in 2021: According to data published in reports by the Moroccan police, they claim to have arrested more than 12,000 people trying to leave the country.
Tunisia 17.12.21: The Guardian: Tunisians trapped in poverty lose hope: “As the country negotiates a fresh loan from the International Monetary Fund, its general trade union has openly questioned whether the state can pay its hefty public sector salary bill. Unemployment, one of the primary causes of the revolution, remains unimproved. In 2010, joblessness ran at 13%. Today, it’s 18%. […] While much of the president’s energy remains invested in political reform, no answer to the chronic financial problems that gnaw away at the marrow of daily life appears any closer than it has for the last 11 years.”
Burkina Faso/Niger 10.12.21: France 24: Le Burkina et le Niger annoncent avoir tué une centaine de „terroristes“ dans une opération commune (Burkina and Niger announce that they have killed around 100 „terrorists“ in a joint operation): According to an official statement of the Burkinabé and Nigerien military, the countries’ joint military operations have „neutralised about a hundred terrorists“ and to „apprehend about twenty suspicious individuals“, in the border area between the Sahelian states. In the beginning of December President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré dismissed his government on the backdrop of rising violence.
Chad/Cameroon 09.12.21: RFI: Cameroun: un conflit entre éleveurs et pêcheurs provoque la fuite de population vers le Tchad (Cameroon: Conflict between herders and fishermen causes people to flee to Chad): Several thousand Cameroonians have taken refuge in Chad since the beginning of the month following a longstanding conflict between herders and fishermen. The conflict, which was brewing on the outskirts of Kousséri, the main town in the far north of Cameroon, has reached the heart of the town, forcing a large part of its population to cross the river to seek refuge in Ndjamena, the Chadian capital.
Chad 22.12.2021: HumAngle: NGO Deplores Situation Of Cameroonian Refugees In Chad: “A Chadian Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), Association for the Promotion of Fundamental Liberties (APLFT) has expressed dissatisfaction with the living conditions of some Cameroonian refugees in the Farcha and N’gueli refugee camps. Speaking during a visit to the sites on Tuesday, Dec. 21, Larlem Marie, the General Coordinator of APLFT, said “We deplore the consequences of conflicts. In most cases it is the women and children who suffer. We demand that the authorities, be it Cameroonian or Chadian, but in particular those who are in the conflict zones, be able to anticipate conflicts by creating conditions of peace between populations and we know they are capable of doing so”.”
Chad/Mali 18.12.21: Al Jazeera: Chad to deploy additional 1,000 UN peacekeepers to Mali: “Mali’s foreign affairs ministry has said that Chad planned to deploy 1,000 additional UN peacekeepers to Mali to reinforce its troops battling armed groups in the former French colony. ‘The deployment is part of a bilateral framework at the request of the Government of Chad for reinforcing its contingent in Northern Mali following the reconfiguration of the Barkhane force,’ the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.”
Mali 14.12.21: taz: Bewährungsprobe für Malis Militärregierung (Test for Mali’s military government): By the end of the year, a national dialogue will discuss how and when Mali will return to democracy. If it postpones the elections planned for February 2022, Mali faces isolation. Last week, the Goïta government announced that it would not submit an election timetable until 31 January 2022.
Mali 16.12.21: RFI: Europe deploys Takuba task force in Mali as France draws down troops: “Menaka is bustling with activity, boasting brand-new tents, freshly dug trenches and choppers taking off and landing in a constant ballet in the sky. Apart from the usual conversations in French, there is now Czech, Danish, Italian and English heard in the camp, a sign of its international status. At the new air transport zone, heavy Chinook helicopters from Italy and Swedish Blackhawks share the space. A few kilometres away, an abandoned landing strip has been renovated, ready for the army’s air operations.”
Mali/Gemany 20.12.21: Defence Post: Germany Considers Relocating Soldiers in Mali Mission: “‘We now have to check whether it is possible to train Malian soldiers just as well, or even better, in another location that is safer for our soldiers,’ said the Social Democrat Defense Minister Lambrecht, who took office earlier this month. Lambrecht had already stated her intention to review all foreign missions being undertaken by the Germany army.”
Mali/EU 24.12.21 Al Jazeera: Western powers slam ‘deployment’ of Russian mercenaries in Mali: “France and more than a dozen of Western allies have condemned what they said was the deployment of Russian mercenaries working for the controversial Wagner Group in conflict-hit Mali, accusing Moscow of providing material backing for the fighters. In a joint statement on Thursday, the 15 countries – including Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom – said they ‘firmly condemn the deployment of mercenary troops on Malian territory’.”
Niger 05.12.21: DW: Weiterer blutiger Angriff in der Sahelzone (Another bloody attack in the Sahel region): More than 100 people were killed in an attack on a military base in western Niger on 5 December. Earlier, suspected jihadists in Mali had fired on a truck carrying civilians. It has now become known that suspected Islamists attacked an international army base in Niger on Saturday. At least 79 attackers and 29 soldiers were killed, according to an army officer.
Sahel 30.11.12: Reuters: Four West African states mount operation against Islamist insurgents: “Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo have carried out a joint military operation to counter increased attacks by Islamist insurgent groups in parts of West Africa, Burkinabe Security Minister Maxime Kone said on Tuesday. Over 5,700 troops were deployed in the borderlands between Burkina Faso and the other three countries under a security cooperation deal the countries agreed in 2017. The five-day operation led to the arrest of over 300 suspects and the seizure of weapons, ammunition, vehicles, drugs and a large amount of material to make improvised bombs, Kone told a news conference.”
The Gambia 25.12.21: Al Jazeera: The Gambia panel recommends ex-President Yahya Jammeh face trial: “Truth and reconciliation commission says the former leader was responsible for a spree of killings, torture and rapes during his 22-year rule. The Gambia’s former leader Yahya Jammeh should face prosecution for murder, torture and rapes, according to a new report by a commission established after he fled into exile five years ago.The long-awaited report released late on Friday [ 24 December] recommends that a special international court be set up to try Jammeh and others in West Africa, but outside of The Gambia.”
Denmark 21.12.21: taz: Dänische Strafkolonie in Kosovo? (Danish penal colony in Kosovo?): Denmark’s social democratic government has a favourite refugee policy project: to let no more asylum seekers cross the border and to transfer the entire asylum process to Rwanda. After a year of negotiations with the government of Kosovo, Copenhagen sees itself on the verge of another success: deportation prisoners from non-European countries are no longer to be detained in Denmark, but in Kosovo. The Danish government wants to rent a prison for this purpose. Earlier last year Denmark’s social democratic government made headlines for attempting to outsource the Danish asylum determination procedure to Rwanda.
See also 15.12.21: The Guardian: Denmark to rent 300 prison cells in Kosovo to ease overcrowding
France/UK 01.12.21: Calais.bodermonitoring: „The British police didn’t help us“: One week after the deadly accident on 24 November 2021 off Calais, research by the Kurdish private broadcaster Rudaw, based in Erbil, gives a more detailed picture of what happened. Based on interviews with the two survivors and relatives of the victims, it becomes clear that the passengers sent distress calls to the French and British coast guards, each of which referred to the responsibility of the other country.
Germany 03.12.21: Kommentare zum Koalitionsvertrag (Comments on new coalition): The „traffic light coalition“ has set itself a lot of goals in matters of migration, asylum and integration. According to the coalition agreement, it has far-reaching plans. Four leading migration experts take a stand and classify the plans.
Germany 16.12.21: taz: Zwei Vorfälle pro Tag (Two incidents per day): Pro Asyl has released its statistics on violent attacks on refugees in Germany for 2020. The statistic counts more than 1600 attacks just in 2020. Pro Asyl and others have repeatedly raised allegations against the German governments and demanded a more profound documentation on such attacks. According to the organization, the data is incomplete, which shows a lack of solidarity as well as a general disinterest towards the discrimination, refugees face in Germany on a daily basis.
Germany 16.12.21: taz: Rassistischer Anschlag in Hanau: Ermittlungen eingestellt (Racist attack in Hanau: investigations discontinued): The attack in Hanau was the most serious right-wing terrorist attack in recent times – now the Federal Prosecutor’s Office is closing the investigation. The authorities announced on Thursday that they had followed up 300 leads and questioned 400 witnesses in order to clarify the background.
See also 15.12.21: taz: Das NSU-Urteil gegen André Eminger: Für die Opfer unerträglich (The NSU verdict against André Eminger: Unbearable for the victims)
Germany 25.12.21: Deutsche Welle: Umfangreiche Last-Minute-Rüstungsgenehmigungen unter Merkel (Extensive last-minute arms approvals under Merkel): Right before the legislation of the former federal government of the CDU/CSU and the SPD was about to end on 9 December, it approved billions in arms deliveries in the last days of its term in office. The new Chancellor Olaf Scholz was involved. The main beneficiary was Egypt.
Greece 29.12.21: Alarmphone: Three shipwrecks with dozens feared dead in the Aegean while pushbacks continue to happen: “[…] in the days around Christmas, there were four different boats on their way to Italy from Turkey that wrecked in the Greek Search and Rescue Zone. More than 30 dead bodies have been found and more people went missing. Many relatives from various countries, also in Europe, search for their beloved.”
See also 21.12.2021: Info Migrants: Dozens missing after migrant boat sinks off Greece; 24.12.2021: Al Jazeera: Eleven people die in shipwreck off Greek island; 25.12.21: The Guardian: At least 16 dead after third migrant boat in three days sinks in Greek waters; 27.12.2021 Deutsche Welle: German NGO rescues over 400 migrants over Christmas weekend
Italy/Lybia 07.12.21: Matthias Monroy: EU development aid: Italy is gifting more surveillance technology to the Libyan coastguard: “Libya has received new technology for monitoring the Mediterranean Sea from Italy. The equipment, financed with EU funds, is installed in containers and was brought to Tripoli by the „San Giorgio“ helicopter carrier. […] However, it is the long-announced delivery of a mobile Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC).”
Italy/Lybia 16.12.2021: ASGI: The consequences of externalisation of border on women’s rights: “Today, December 16 2021, we presented at the Press Conference the appeal of two women victims of trafficking against Italy e Libya. […] On 3 December 2021, the two women, with the support of ASGI lawyers (Giulia Crescini, Cristina Laura Cecchini and Luce Bonzano) and NULAI – Network of Nigerian Legal Clinics – (Odinakaonye Lagi) lodged an appeal against Italy and Libya at the UN Committee, claiming that the two countries violated Articles 2 and 6 of the Convention on the Rights of Women – the right to non-discrimination and protection from exploitation of prostitution – and for subjecting them to a form of “disguised” expulsion that exposed them to further risks after returning to their country of origin, including being trafficked again.”
Poland/Belarus 21.12.21: DW: Belarus und Polen halten UN-Vertreter zurück (Belarus and Poland withhold UN representatives): Belarus and Poland are denying the United Nations access to the border region. The spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), Liz Throssell, said in Geneva that a team had been able to travel to Poland, but the staff had been denied access to the refugees in the border area.
See also 01.12.21: The Conversation: The EU is the real villain in the Poland-Belarus migrant crisis; 06.12.21: The Conversation: EU solidarity with Poland on migration: a violent response to an imagined threat; 13.12.21: TNH: Reporter’s Diary: Death, survival, and volunteer aid on the EU’s eastern frontier; 15.12.21: taz: „Die Situation ist unerträglich“ („The situation is unbearable“); 26.12.21: Rûdaw: Iraq to repatriate 110 migrants from Polish border
Spain 23.12.2021: EFE: Llegan a Fuerteventura 51 inmigrantes tras ser rescatados de una patera (51 migrants arrive in Fuerteventura after being rescued from a boat): A total of 51 immigrants, including seven women, have arrived early Thursday morning in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, after being rescued by the Guardamar Talía from the skiff in which they were traveling.
Turkey/Africa 20.12.21: taz: Erdoğan punktet in Afrika (Erdoğan scores in Africa): At the Turkey-Africa Summit in Istanbul on 18 December, present heads of state were invested in topics such as the expansion of trade, the construction of large infrastructure projects by Turkey, educational cooperation and cooperation in the health sector were discussed. Though the main interest was expressed in modern drone technology.
Turkey 21.12.2021: Daily Sabah: 22 irregular migrants in dinghy rescued off Izmir: “Twenty-two irregular migrants who were drifting in a dinghy off western Izmir province’s Menderes district were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard Command. According to a statement by the coast guard on Tuesday, the passengers lost control of the drifting dinghy due to an engine problem.”
UK 06.12.21: Al Jazeera: Explained: UK seeks power to strip nationality, without warning: “[…] the new clause – which means people may not be notified of their stripped citizenship – can also be applied before it becomes law, making an appeals process harder. A report by the New Statesman found that almost six million people from ethnic minority backgrounds could be affected by the proposed clause.”
UK 25.12.21 The Guardian: Revealed: the secret ‘forced labour’ migration route from Vietnam to the UK: Observer investigation uncovers new trafficking gateway to the west after 500 migrants found in shocking conditions in Serbia.
UK 28.12.21 The Guardian: Channel crossings: who would make such a dangerous journey – and why?: “About two-thirds of people arriving on small boats between January 2020 and May 2021 were from Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria. Many also came from Eritrea, from where 80% of asylum applications were approved. According to Dr Peter Walsh at the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory, those countries have among the highest acceptance rates of asylum applications, so it is likely that most of those crossing the Channel have genuine asylum claims that should be accepted by the government.”
EU 02.12.21: DW: Kritik an Lockerung von EU-Asylregeln (Criticism of relaxation of EU asylum rules): A move by the EU Commission to soften the asylum law at the external borders with Belarus is being sharply criticised by civil society and MEPs. The Commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life, Schinas, together with the Swedish Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, proposes to „temporarily“ suspend EU law at the borders with Belarus for the next six months. The European treaties would allow for „exceptional measures“ like this in an „emergency situation“. Meanwhile, the controversial border protection law came into force in Poland.
EU 09.12.21: Tagesschau: Macron will neue Strategie für EU-Grenzen (Macron wants new strategy for EU borders): French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken out in favour of a new mechanism to protect Europe’s external borders. This mechanism should take effect in the event of a crisis situation in the Schengen area, „when stronger control of our external borders becomes necessary“, he said in Paris on the occasion of the upcoming French EU Presidency. It is conceivable to send security forces and material from other member states.
EU 14.12.21: NYT: E.U. Proposes Changes That Would Chip Away at Borderless Model: “Under new rules proposed by the European Union on Tuesday, member states could introduce border checks whenever they wanted, in the face of both unforeseen and foreseeable events. They would then be able to extend them almost indefinitely, although such checks were once emergency measures within what is supposed to be a borderless area. Member states would also be able to suspend some protections for asylum seekers if neighboring countries orchestrate migratory flows to the bloc’s borders, as Belarus has done in recent months to member countries like Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.”
EU/Turkey 22.12.21: Schengenvisainfo: EU Allocates Additional €560M to Support Education of Refugees & Address Migration in Turkey: “The Commission of the European Union has adopted two financing decisions to support inclusive quality education for refugees in Turkey and address migration and border protection as part of the €3 billion scheme.” 30 Million Euro should serve to “help tackle migration and border challenges in Turkey. […] The action plan also aims to strengthen cooperation with countries of origin and countries of destination as well as address the promotion of illegal migration.”
Israel 25.12.2021: Haaretz: Israel to Grant Temporary Residence to Nearly 2,500 Sudanese Asylum Seekers: “Israel will begin next week to grant temporary residence to some 2,440 asylum seekers from Sudan, before deciding whether to approve their asylum requests, in what activists describe as a long overdue development toward securing basic rights for refugees.”
Yemen 22.12.2021: Reuters: U.N. shrinks Yemen food rations in „desperate measures“:
“The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Wednesday [22 December] it will reduce food rations for 8 million people in Yemen from January due to a lack of funding from donors, warning the cuts will push more people into starvation.”
05.12.21: AYS: AYS Special from Libya: Protests in Tripoli against a system made “to cause suffering”: “In Libya’s capital, thousands of people on the move are stranded in front of a UNHCR Centre with nowhere to go. For almost two months now, the UN’s principal mechanism for the concerns of refugees has been unwilling or unable to provide them with basic support.”
December 2021 Grupa Granica: Humanitarian crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border: “Our report focuses on the situation of migrant women and men in the Polish-Belarusian border region. It is based on information and data collected by activists from Grupa Granica (GG) who have been working in the border area since mid-August, 2021, with the primary aim to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants and support them in accessing relevant legal procedures, with an additional objective of monitoring and documenting law and human rights violations.”
See also 20.12.21: Amnesty International: Belarus/EU: New evidence of brutal violence from Belarusian forces against asylum-seekers and migrants facing pushbacks from the EU
December 2021 Danish Refugee Council/Protecting Rights at Borders: Human dignity lost at the EU’s borders: “Throughout the past months, more than 6.000 men, women and children have experienced illegal pushbacks at the EU’s external and internal border. Testimonies document unlawful, yet seemingly tolerated and ongoing, pushbacks involving physical abuse, harassment, extortion, destruction of property, theft and denial of access to seeking asylum. But it is not only theft of people’s belongings, it’s also a loss of EU’s basic value of human dignity and respect for people’s fundamental rights. […] The report is the third under the Protecting Rights at Borders (PRAB) initiative launched in January this year by DRC and six civil society organisations across Europe. […] Throughout the reporting period of almost a full year, the PRAB initiative has collected close to 12.000 reports involving pushbacks employed by border police, law enforcement officials or other authorities experienced by migrants and asylum seekers.”
06.12.21 The Guardian: Fortress Europe: the millions spent on military-grade tech to deter refugees: “The Guardian has mapped out the result of the EU’s investment: a digital wall on the harsh sea, forest and mountain frontiers, and a technological playground for military and tech companies repurposing products for new markets.”