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 or on Twitter @MigControl


Blog Containment-funding: The EU’s external migration funding instruments by L.J., Migration Control Editorial Team: This blog post summarizes key points on the funding priorities in the EU’s externalized migration control as revealed in leaked Commission non-paper. Relevant funding instruments are the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument NDICI, Global Europe, Instrument for Pre-Accession IPAIII, Asylum, Migration & Integration Fund AMIF, Border Management and Visa Instrument BMVI, Internal Security Fund ISF, Team Europe Initiatives TEI. Further, in cases where funding is not possible for political reasons, e.g. in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Yemen, financial support can still be given through Special Measures. So far Special Measures are planned for Yemen, Afghanistan, and Libya. The whole document can be published here.

Blog New EU-Document: Migration Control in Pakistan and the role of Frontex by Wasil Schauseil: The Migration Control Project has received a leaked internal EU document, dated January 25, 2022, discussing the EU‘s present and future relation with Pakistan in regard to migration control. Therein, thePresidency asks the member state delegations to comment on a set of proposed measures to achieve better migration cooperation with Pakistan, with a focus on preventing „irregular“ migration towards Europe. Moreover, the document proposes to develop an action plan for Pakistan, which would include the country in the list of priority „partners“ for EU externalization policies. In these considerations by the Council, the displacement in and flight from Afghanistan plays a paramount role as the EU member states are determined to contain migration from Afghanistan towards Europe since the Taliban took power in August, 2021. The document also proposes a future engagement of FRONTEX in Pakistan. You can find the document here.

Blog MOCADEM Action File Niger: We repost another internal EU-Doc about migration control measures in Niger: It describes a number of actions aiming at border protection between Niger and Libya, strengthening FRONTEX and constructing Niger as a „safe third country“. The document was first published by Statewatch, read their write-up “Frontex to boost border control efforts in Niger, Algeria and Libya” here.

Blog „Protecting Borders“ From „Illegal Migrants“? More Like Protecting Migrants From Illegal Governments by Wasil Schauseil: An extensive and insightful analysis of migration control by the Greek government of Nea Demokratia. Tracing back the normalization of abuse, the article flips around the notion of „illegal migration“, showing that we’re actually faced by the illegality of state actions. The two authors have worked in humanitarian organisations in Greece for years and their analysis gives an important insight not only into the Greek, but the European border regime.

Blog Interview with Hope Barker from the Border Violence Monitoring Network: Northern Greece by Wasil Schauseil: „Nothing gives protection anymore! Not even documents“, says Hope Barker of the Border Violence Monitoring Project about pusbacks by the Greek state. Discussing the situation in Northern Greece, our interview gives a detailed insight into the everyday violence at the EU’s borders. Hope Barker is part of a community centre in Thessaloniki, providing food, clothing, hygiene items, among others. They’re participating in the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), which has been documenting violent border practices all over the Balkan in the past couple of years. The BVMN regularly publishes reports on their website as well as the Black Book of Pushbacks. The interview was taken in October 2021 in Thessaloniki.


For this issue, we have decided to publish a special on current events in Ethiopia to highlight the ongoing tensions that have culminated in violent conflicts in the past months, leading to displacement and deteriorating living conditions for millions of people.

Ethiopia 01.03.22: Addis Standard: Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission dissolves: “Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission has dissolved three years into its formation by the national parliament which had approved the draft bill establishing the National Reconciliation Commission on 25 December 2018 with the objective to “maintain peace, justice, national unity and consensus and also reconciliation among Ethiopian peoples,” the government said at the time.”

Ethiopia 02.03.22: The Guardian: Patients dying as conflict prevents supplies reaching Tigray hospitals: “As the 16-month conflict between Tigrayan forces and Ethiopian government forces drags on, the isolated northern region of 5.5 million people continues to suffer under what the UN has called a de facto blockade. Staff at the Ayder referral hospital in Mekelle, the regional capital, said they were losing patients who would have otherwise lived. “Patients die. Every day we hear about patients dying because of a lack of oxygen, a lack of this drug, that drug”.”

Ethiopia / Sudan 03.03.22: Addis Standard: Ethio-Sudan border via Gallabat-Metema reopens for movement of people, goods: “The Ethio-Sudan cross border trade and movement of people via the Gallabat-Metema resumed after several months, Amhara regional state government media reported. In early April 2021, Sudan had closed the strategic crossing blaming an attack by Ethiopian militiamen against Sudanese custom officers in the presence of Ethiopian forces. After a brief reopening the border was again closed in July 2021 after Sudanese authorities accused Ethiopian militiamen of murdering a Sudanese military officer after he was kidnapped from the crossing point.”

Ethiopia 08.03.22: African Arguments: Ethiopian journalists are taking a stand for press freedom in 2022: “Over forty of our colleagues were arrested in 2021. In this open letter, we call on the government to respect media rights.”

Ethiopia 19.03.22: Reuters: Ethiopia arrests former government officials from Tigray, rights body says: “Ethiopian authorities have detained several senior officials from Tigray, including members of the government’s last administration in the conflict-ravaged region, the head of the state-appointed human rights commission said on Friday. Daniel Bekele, Chief Commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, did not name the officials and declined to comment on the reasons for the arrests. „We know about the arrests of at least eight,“ he told Reuters, adding that some of the prisoners had been sent to Tigray’s neighbouring region of Afar.”

Ethiopia 24.03.22: Addis Standard: Federal government declares humanitarian truce in Tigray effective today; says move paves way for resolution of conflict: “The Federal Government Communication Service issued a statement this afternoon announcing the government’s decision to declare a humanitarian truce. “Cognizant of the need to take extraordinary measures to save lives and reduce human suffering, the Government of Ethiopia hereby declares an indefinite humanitarian truce effective immediately,” the statement read. The statement noted that thousands of people from Tigray are fleeing to the neighboring Amhara region in search of assistance and stressed that the situation warrants urgent measures to ensure that those in need are able to receive aid in their localities.”

See also 23.03.22: The Guardian: ‘Trying to survive’: millions in Tigray face hunger as they wait in vain for aid; 25.03.22: Reuters: Ethiopia’s Tigray region says it will observe humanitarian ceasefire; 26.03.22: Addis Standard: Afar People’s Party ‘skeptical’ about humanitarian truce between Federal government, Tigray state

Ethiopia 30.03.22: The East African: Ethiopia government, rebels trade accusations over aid delay: “The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebels on Tuesday accused each other of blocking a humanitarian aid convoy carrying emergency supplies for a starving population in the northern region.”

See also 01.04.22: The Guardian: First food aid for 100 days enters Tigray under ‘humanitarian truce’


Horn of Africa 28.03.22: Al Jazeera: Ukraine war accelerates climate emergencies in Horn of Africa: “The war in Ukraine is set to tip more families in the Horn of Africa over the edge. The region has become increasingly dependent on imported grains from Russia and Ukraine. Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia import 67 percent, 89 percent and 92 percent of their wheat respectively from the two countries. Russia and Ukraine also account for 53 percent of the global trade of sunflower oil and seed. However, supply lines are blocked and, in areas of Ukraine, agricultural production is in danger. The prices of cooking oil, bread and wheat flour are already reaching new records in local markets in the Horn of Africa. A dire nutrition crisis is expected to escalate.”

See also 22.03.22: Oxfam: As many as 28 million people across East Africa at risk of extreme hunger if rains fail again

Sudan / Darfur 12.03.22: The Guardian: At least 19 people die amid fresh fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region: “Fresh clashes broke out on Thursday between armed groups in the rugged Jebel Moon mountains of West Darfur state, close to the border with Chad. At least “19 people were killed and five wounded”, said Adam Regal, spokesman for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur, an independent aid organisation. He earlier reported “dozens of injured and missing” as well as “four villages completely burned. Regal accused Janjaweed militiamen – many of whom have joined the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the de facto deputy leader of Sudan – of taking part in this week’s fighting.”

See also 19.03.22: New York Times [Background Read]: ‘They Keep Killing Us’: Violence Rages in Sudan’s Darfur Two Decades On; 26.03.22: The East African: High food prices bring out more protestors in Sudan


Egypt 21.03.22: Refugees Platform in Egypt: In one week: Egypt forcibly deports 31 Eritrean asylum seekers to Asmara and prepares to deport dozens of detained migrants: RPE documented a mass deportation from Egypt to Eritrea on March 16 when the Egyptian authorities deported 24 asylum-seekers. The second deportation took place one day later, when seven other people were deported. More deportations are to be expected as RPE also monitored the transfer of dozens of Eritreans from a detention centre to a Police Station, which is a sign of impending deportation.

See also 28.03.22: Mada Masr: Human Rights Watch documents arrests, forced labor of dozens of Sudanese refugees in Egypt

Libya 03.03.22: Al Jazeera: UN voices concern over vote on new Libyan prime minister: “The United Nations has voiced concern over reports that a vote in Libya’s parliament to install a new government, which risks triggering new fighting or a return to territorial division[…] The parliament plans to swear in Fathi Bashagha as prime minister on Thursday though the incumbent, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, refuses to hand over power, with both sides having some military support in the capital.”

Libya 06.03.22: Refugees in Libya: I will return them to your headquarter in three days time says Afandi Hakim of Ain Zara prison: “To this day the responsible NGO (UNHCR LIBYA) declined to give comments on why it forsook its refugees in the streets for over three months of unimaginable chaos and then to the hands of the militias. The UNHCR well knows that these Refugees are not criminals, they are literally being detained for who they are; refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers, black people and then business assets. Not only that, these Refugees have been subjected to forced labor, exploitation and sexual violence.”

Libya 12.03.22: The Guardian: At least 19 migrants missing after boat capsizes off coast of Libya: “Libya’s coast guard said that a group of 23 migrants – Egyptians and Syrians – set off from the eastern city of Tobruk earlier in the day. Three migrants were rescued and taken to hospital. Only one body was retrieved and search efforts were continuing, the agency said.”

Libya 29.03.22: Reuters: U.N. investigates reports of migrant mass graves in Libya: “U.N. investigators are seeking to verify reports of mass graves thought to contain the corpses of migrants at a trafficking hub in Libya, they said in a report on Monday [28.03.2022] that also documented incidents of rape, murder and torture.”

MENA 26.02.22: The North Africa Journal [Background Read]: MENA region confronted with dangerous wheat supply crisis: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could mean less bread on the table in Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere in the Arab world where millions already struggle to survive. The region is heavily dependent on wheat supplies from the two countries which are now at war, and any shortages of the staple food have potential to bring unrest.”

Tunisia 04.03.22: Infomigrants: Four migrants found dead in eastern Tunisia: “Four African migrants have been found dead in eastern Tunisia. They likely died of cold or hunger after crossing over from Algeria, according to local authorities. The four victims were all men aged between 20 and 35. Only one of them was carrying identification on them, revealing that he had come from the Ivory Coast, according to the regional medical chief, Abdelghani Chaabani. „Three bodies were found on Wednesday and another one five days ago in Haidra, Kasserine governorate,“ Chaabani added.”

See also 19.03.22: AP News: 12 unidentified migrant bodies found washed up off Tunisia; 19.03.22: Reuters: Death toll from migrant shipwreck off Tunisia rises to 20; 21.03.22: Reuters: Death toll from migrant shipwreck off Tunisia rises to 25, fears of 35 others drowned

Tunisia 05.03.22: Ilfattoquotidiano: Tunisia, da un mese davanti a sedi Unhcr: la protesta di cento migranti. “Reinsediamento in Ue lento e stop ai pocket money” (Tunisia, for a month in front of UNHCR offices: the protest of one hundred migrants. „Resettlement in the EU slow and stop pocket money“): For a month, more than hundred people on the move have been protesting in front of the UNHCR building in Zarzis in the South of Tunis. They demand, among other things, their evacuation.

See also 03.03.22: Euromed Rights [Background Read]: Worsening situation in Libya: a chain effect for migrants in Tunisia

Western Sahara 19.03.22: New York Times: Spain, Seeking Better Ties With Morocco, Shifts Stance on Western Sahara: “The endorsement of Morocco’s plan to grant some level of autonomy to Western Sahara could usher in “a new stage” in Spain’s relationship with Morocco, the authorities in Madrid said when announcing the move late Friday. But the development was immediately denounced by representatives of the Polisario Front, a separatist movement in the Western Sahara that represents the Sahrawi ethnic group. The Moroccan plan would allow the Sahrawis to run their own administration, but under Moroccan sovereignty and with Morocco in charge of defense and foreign affairs.”

See also 09.03.22: Amnesty International: Morocco/Western Sahara: Activist targeted with Pegasus spyware in recent months – new evidence; 19.03.22: Al Jazeera: Algeria recalls Spain envoy over Western Sahara policy change


Burkina Faso 06.03.22: Jeune Afrique: Nouveau gouvernement au Burkina : Paul-Henri Damiba dévoile son équipe (New government in Burkina: Paul-Henri Damiba unveils his team): The new president has made the fight against jihadism and the rebuilding of the Burkinabe state his „priority“. The transition period before a return to constitutional order has been set at three years.

See also 01.03.22: Le Monde: Au Burkina Faso, la période de transition fixée à trois ans avant des élections (Burkina Faso transition period set at three years before elections)

Burkina Faso 10.03.22: Le Figaro: Burkina Faso : 160.000 nouveaux déplacés pour le seul mois de janvier (Burkina Faso: 160,000 new displaced persons in January alone): Some 160,000 people were forced to flee their homes in Burkina Faso in January alone in the face of deadly jihadist attacks, bringing the total number of displaced to 1.7 million, according to several NGOs.

Mali 01.03.22: Reuters: Mali debt defaults due to sanctions reach $180 million: “Mali has failed to pay 46.32 billion CFA francs ($78.5 million) in principal and interest on a treasury bond, the West African debt agency Umoa-Titres said on Tuesday, pushing its debt defaults due to sanctions following two coups to $180 million. West Africa’s main political bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UEMOA monetary union ordered the sanctions after Mali’s military rulers pushed back the timeline for elections.”

Mali / Sweden 03.03.22: Reuters: Sweden announces early pullout of troops from U.N. Mali mission: “Sweden will pull its force of about 220 soldiers out of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali in June 2023, a year earlier than planned, its military said on Thursday. It gave no reason for the decision but has previously said that the presence of Russian military contractors in the West African state, condemned by European countries, was making the presence of Swedish forces untenable.”

See also 10.03.22: Sahara Medias: Le Mali annonce l’ouverture d’une enquête à propos du meurtre de mauritaniens en territoire malien et défend son armée (Mali announces investigation into killing of Mauritanians on Malian territory and defends its army); 15.03.22: taz: “Sie nahmen die Schwächsten” (“They took the weakest”) [Background Read]; 21.03.22: TNH [Background Read]: Sieges, sanctions, and soaring hunger: Mali’s humanitarian crisis deepens as foreign forces withdraw

Mali 24.03.22: France24: UN report says nearly 600 civilians killed in Mali amid anti-jihadist fight: “On Thursday [24 March], Minusma’s human rights division said 318 civilians had been killed in the country in the second half of 2021, compared to 266 during the first six months. Kidnappings, on the other hand, decreased from 425 during the first half of 2021 to 343 in the second half. Jihadist groups had killed 206 civilians between July and December last year, and were responsible for abducting or disappearing 239 others, according to the Minusma report. Other armed militias killed 70 civilians over the same period, while Malian armed forces killed 25.”

Niger 05.03.22: infobae: Seis muertos en un incendio en un campo de refugiados en el sureste de Níger (Six dead in fire at refugee camp in southeastern Niger): At least six people were killed, most of them children, and others were injured in a fire in a refugee camp in Diffa, in the far southeast of Niger, humanitarian sources told Efe today. „The fire broke out on Friday between 13.00 and 14.00 hours, at the time when the men were in the mosque performing Friday prayers.”

Niger 07.03.22: Daily Trust: Fresh Concern As Niger IDPs Seek Refuge At Hydropower Station Facilities: “A reliable source confided in our correspondent that Subsidiary National Control Centre, the Switchyard and all power generation and transmission equipment are located where some IDPs currently occupy. The source said this constitutes a danger to the lives of the IDPs and a security threat to the dam. He said deliberate efforts must be made by the government to provide adequate security for these affected communities and protect the facilities at the power station.”

Niger 09.03.22: ActuNiger: Visite du Président Bazoum en Turquie: de l’armement, des drones et des avions de combat pour l’armée de l’Air (President Bazoum’s visit to Turkey: arms, drones and fighter planes for the Air Force): A few days ago, President Bazoum had already announced this visit which will serve as an opportunity to inquire about military orders placed by Niger with Turkish firms, notably TB2 armed combat drones, Hurkus combat and training aircraft from Turkish Aerospace and tactical armored vehicles from Nurol Makina. Military equipment intended to strengthen the operational capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces and mainly the air force, which will benefit from an investment of nearly 200 billion CFA francs over the next three years as promised by the Head of State.

Senegal / Gambia 23.03.22: Al Jazeera: Over 6,000 displaced in Gambia, Senegal after Casamance mission: “More than 6,000 people have fled their homes in Gambia and Senegal following clashes between Senegalese soldiers and separatists near the Gambian border. On March 13, the Senegalese military launched an operation against rebels fighting for independence in the West African country’s southern Casamance region, which borders Gambia.”


Syria 05.03.22: Al-Monitor: Residents in north Syria grow angry at Turkish-backed rebels over rise in bombings: “Citizens in the areas held by the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) in north Syria have been living in a state of fear in the past weeks amid the repeated bombings targeting populated areas, markets and neighborhoods. The blasts have become more intense recently, mainly targeting SNA leaders. Most recently, on Feb. 22, Muhammad Mustafa al-Hussein, leader of al-Jabha al-Shamiya (Levant Front) affiliated with the SNA, was killed in a car bomb attack in the city of Azaz. After the explosion, the military police found and removed another car bomb in Iman camp, north of Azaz city.”

Yemen 02.03.22: Reuters: Ukraine conflict could hit food supplies, worsening Yemen hunger crisis: “Potential disruption to global wheat supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is raising concerns that war-torn Yemen’s hunger crisis and food price inflation could deepen, with some Yemenis rushing to buy flour. The Aden government on Tuesday held a meeting on food supplies and said there were four months of wheat and other basic goods stocks. The Houthis‘ deputy industry minister Muhammad al-Hashemi told Reuters the administration had several months of wheat stocks and more were coming from outside Ukraine and Russia. Concerns about supplies come on top of a deteriorating hunger situation in Yemen and amid a shortfall in aid funding.”

See also 04.03.22: Memo: Yemen: two-thirds of displaced families have no income, says UNICEF; 16.03.22: Al Jazeera: Yemen hunger crisis: $4.3bn needed, says UN; 16.03.22: Al Jazeera: UN aid drive to avert Yemen catastrophe falls far short

Yemen 17.03.22: AP News: Saudi-based GCC to hold Yemen talks; rebels decline invite: “The Saudi-based Gulf Cooperation Council on Thursday invited warring sides in Yemen for talks aimed at ending the civil war in the Arab world’s most impoverished country, a conflict now in its eight year. However, Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have already rejected Riyadh — the Saudi capital where the GCC is headquartered — as venue for talks.”

See also 06.03.22: Reuters: Yemen’s Houthis agree U.N. proposal to offload decaying oil tanker; 26.03.22: Al Jazeera: Yemen: Saudi-led coalition hits Houthi targets in Sanaa, Hodeidah; 26.03.22: The Guardian: UN condemns attacks by Yemen rebels and Saudi-led coalition


Cyprus / EU 27.03.22: Cyprus Mail: Nouris: Buffer-zone migrant surveillance system ready by August: “Interior Minister Nicos Nouris will on Monday be discussing the increased migration flow from Turkey with EU officials, and Cyprus’ request for additional EU financing aiming to upgrade the Pournara reception centre which is currently operating beyond its capacity. He also said that the installation of a surveillance system to monitor arrivals through the buffer zone dividing the island is expected to start in August coupled with a special ‘task force’ to monitor the ceasefire line.”

See also 25.03.22: InfoMigrants: Cyprus asks for EU help to control migrant arrivals

Denmark 16.03.22: National Post: Denmark fast-tracks new law to welcome Ukrainian refugees: “Denmark on Wednesday passed legislation allowing Ukrainians fleeing the war in Ukraine to start working, going to school and receiving social benefits soon after arrival in the Nordic welfare state. The law, which was fast-tracked in parliament, allows Ukrainian refugees to apply for temporary residency in Denmark for up to two years, effectively bypassing the slower process of applying for asylum.”

English Channel 25.03.22: Evening Standard: Channel crossings continue as more people arrive in Kent: “Crossings have continued throughout the week amid warmer weather and calm seas. […] Crossings have continued throughout the week amid warmer weather and calm seas, with 59 people arriving on Wednesday on three boats. Some 405 people made the crossing to the UK on Tuesday last week, in what is thought to have been the highest daily total so far in 2022.”

See also 16.03.22: Infomigrants: Channel crossings: ‚More than 300‘ migrants arrive

Germany 26.03.21: Zeit: Im Laderaum: Prozess gegen mutmaßliche Schleuser geplant (In the hold: trial planned against suspected smugglers): In Neubrandenburg, four men will stand trial in early April on charges of smuggling foreigners into the country. They are accused of bringing a total of 17 migrants in the narrow hold of a van from Belarus through Poland to Germany in October 2021, a spokesman for the Pasewalk (Vorpommern-Greifswald) district court told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Germany 30.03.22 Tagesspiegel: Bundesregierung bekennt sich zu Seenotrettung im Mittelmeer (Federal Government commits to sea rescue in the Mediterranean Sea): The German government wants to extend the deployment of the Bundeswehr in the Mediterranean in the framework of IRINI. The controversial Libyan coast guard is no longer to be trained. Theoretically, the Irini ships are obliged to provide assistance to refugees in distress at sea. De facto, however, the area of operation was chosen in such a way that refugee routes are normally not touched.

Italy 03.03.22: Infomigrants: Italy: 99 refugees arrive from Libya on humanitarian flight: “A group of 99 refugees was evacuated from Libya and taken to Italy with a humanitarian flight on Monday night (February 28). This was the first evacuation of its kind to Italy this year, according to a press statement by the UN refugee agency UNHCR. The flight was organized by the UN agency in collaboration with the Italian ministries of interior and foreign affairs and the national institute for migration and poverty (Inmp). The people evacuated are reportedly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.”

Mediterranean 28.03.22: Infomigrants: More than 280 migrants arrive on the Canary Islands over weekend: “On Monday morning [28 March], Spanish rescue workers brought to shore 52 migrants on the island of Lanzarote. That’s in addition to the 237 migrants reported to have arrived on small boats on various Canary Islands over the weekend. Several small boats carrying around 290 migrants arrived on various islands of the Spanish archipelago between Friday and Monday (March 28) morning, according to local Canaries news channel Canarias 7. On Monday morning, the Spanish coast guard Salvamento Marítimo reportedly brought 52 migrants ashore on the island of Lanzarote. Over the weekend, 237 arrived, including one dead person.”

See also 01.03.22: AP News: Bodies of 6 people found on shore of eastern Greek island; 04.03.22: AP News: Greece says it’s stopped boats carrying over 120 migrants; 05.03.22: msn: More than 100 people rescued from Mediterranean Sea in single day; 06.03.22: Swissinfo: El barco de MSF salva a otras 31 personas tras un difícil rescate de 6 horas (MSF boat saves 31 more people after a difficult 6-hour rescue); 27.03.22: Efe: Salvamento rescata a 114 personas en dos pateras en Canarias, entre ellas un bebé (Rescue rescues 114 people in two small boats in the Canary Islands, among them a baby); 28.03.22: Efe: Un nuevo rescate en Lanzarote cierra fin de semana con 289 llegadas de inmigrantes a Canarias (A new rescue in Lanzarote closes the weekend with 289 migrant arrivals in the Canaries); 28.03.22: Infomigrants: Two migrants drown off Morocco coast, more than 200 arrested; 28.03.22: Efe: Rescatan a 34 ocupantes de una patera a 25 kilómetros al sur de Gran Canaria (34 occupants of a skiff are rescued 25 kilometres south of Gran Canaria); 30.03.22: Sea Eye: Ukrainischer Kapitän rettet 32 Menschen im Mittelmeer vor dem Tod (Ukrainian captain saves 32 people from death in the Mediterranean Sea)

Poland 23.03.22: Infomigrants: More migrants trying to reach Poland from Belarus:A video posted by the Polish Border Guard on Wednesday (March 23) shows sections of the new solid metal fence on the Belarusian border. The 186 kilometer long barrier, due for completion in June, will be topped with barbed wire, it says. The video comes as Polish border authorities announced that the number of migrants attempting to enter Poland from neighboring Belarus is increasing again. On Tuesday [22 March] they said 134 people had tried to cross the border within 24 hours.”

See also 25.03.22: The Guardian: Poland detains activists accused of smuggling migrants over Belarus border

Spain / Morocco 02.03.22: Aljazeera: Some 2,500 migrants, refugees try to cross Spain’s Melilla border: “About 2,500 migrants and refugees from countries in sub-Saharan Africa have tried cross the border fence separating the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco, with about 500 managing to do so, in one of the largest influxes in recent years. The people on Wednesday used “hooks” to scale the high fence that separates the tiny territory from Morocco and threw rocks at police, the Spanish government’s local delegation said in a statement.”

See also 22.03.22: Spanish News Today: Spain to resume repatriation flights for Moroccan immigrants; 25.03.22: ECRE: Atlantic Route and Spain: Canary Route Among Deadliest, EU Plans to Strengthen Cooperation with Morocco, Resumption of Deportation Flights, Double Standards in Approach to Arrivals

Spain 21.03.22: Reuters: About 25,000 Ukrainian refugees have reached Spain so far, says minister: “About 25,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Spain since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24, though only 9,000 of them have registered so far with the authorities, Spanish Migration Minister Jose Luis Escriva said on Monday. The United Nations refugee agency estimates nearly 3.5 million Ukrainians have now fled their country, with more than two million of them moving to neighbouring Poland. Romania, Hungary and Slovakia also host large numbers of refugees.”

Sweden 16.03.22: Infomigrants: Sweden to reintroduce border checks as Ukraine arrivals continue: “The Swedish government has announced it plans to reintroduce checks at its border, as the number of refugees arriving from Ukraine increases. Sweden has proposed the reintroduction of ID checks at the border to help the country deal with an expected rise in the number of people trying to enter from Ukraine.”

Switzerland 01.03.22: schengenvisainfo news: Switzerland & Cabo Verde Sign Two Migration Agreements: “Switzerland and Cabo Verde have tightened their cooperation in the area of migration after both countries have signed two agreements in this regard. Such a decision has been confirmed through a statement published by the Swiss government, reports.”

Turkey 14.03.22: Hürriyet Daily News: Nearly 250 migrants apprehended in Turkey’s west, south: “At least 246 irregular migrants have been detained in security operations across Turkey, according to Demirören News Agency. Turkish gendarmerie teams in the Aegean province of İzmir were tipped off that a group of foreign nationals would be dispatched to the province’s coasts by trucks. Following an operation carried out with the help of a drone, a truck believed to carry migrants was stopped by security forces on a highway.”

See also 17.03.22: Al-Monitor: Erdogan steps up pro-refugee rhetoric as 20,000 Ukrainians come to Turkey; 19.03.22: Hürriyet Daily News: At least 60 irregular migrants held in Turkey’s west

UK 21.03.22: The Guardian: Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians poised to enter UK, says minister: “Britain could welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Ukraine in the next few weeks, the health secretary has said, as refugee charities warned the bureaucracy involved in securing visas was forcing people to wait in dangerous situations. Sajid Javid said the UK had already issued 9,500 visas to Ukrainians with family ties to the UK, while 150,000 people had expressed an interested in hosting refugees through the Homes for Ukraine programme.”

See also 07.03.22: The Guardian: Priti Patel under fire over chaotic Ukrainian refugee policy

UK 28.03.22: The Guardian: UK likely to criminalise illicit refugee crossings after MPs’ rebellion averted: “The UK appears set to criminalise illicit refugee crossings and could ship asylum seekers for processing in other countries after ministers easily saw off a potential rebellion in the Commons over the controversial borders and nationality bill. Despite a number of Conservative backbenchers expressing concerns about aspects of the bill, the government convincingly won a string of votes to restore elements changed in the House of Lords, including the idea of Australian-style third country processing.”

See also 25.03.22: The Guardian: Home Office illegally seized phones of 2,000 asylum seekers, court rules

Ukraine 31.03.22: The Guardian: Ukraine in fresh effort to evacuate Mariupol after Red Cross warnings: “Ukraine has launched a fresh attempt to rescue civilians from Mariupol after warnings from the Red Cross that thousands of lives depend on the successful evacuation of people trapped in the besieged city by Russian forces. A total of 45 buses were en route to the nearby southern coastal town of Berdyansk, the Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said, along with a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delivering humanitarian aid and assisting evacuations. The convoy was expected to enter the city on Friday morning after Russian promises of a limited ceasefire along the route from Mariupol to the Ukraine-held city of Zaporizhzhia.”

See also 01.03.22: The Kyiv Independent: Ukraine opens 2 more refugee crossings into Poland; 02.03.22: Politico: WHO calls for humanitarian corridor to be opened to Ukraine; 19.03.22: Reuters: Ukraine has evacuated 190,000 civilians from battle zones, says deputy PM


EU 09.03.22: Statewatch [Background Read]: EU: Deportations: overview of readmission cooperation in key countries: “An overview of cooperation on readmission agreements and arrangements with key countries, produced by the European Commission, show that the “external dimension” promoted under the EU’s Pact on Migration and Asylum treats non-cooperation with EU migration policy as worthy of sanction. Despite adopting a coercive outlook, these partnerships in which “readmission is an important component”, are described as “comprehensive, tailor-made and mutually beneficial”.”

EU / Iraq 09.03.22: Statewatch: EU to pile pressure on Iraq to cooperate with deportations: “The EU is aiming to convince Iraqi authorities to withdraw their opposition to accepting deportations of Iraqi nationals, establish “smooth cooperation” on readmission and integrate “return, readmission and cooperation” into broader EU-Iraq cooperation on migration. This initiative fits within a wider punitive mechanism that includes monitoring cooperation on readmission by partner countries to promote the “external dimension of migration management”.”

EU / Morocco 09.03.22: Statewatch: Tracking the Pact: EU eyes future Frontex deployments in Morocco: “A revised draft action plan drawn up by the European Commission on a „comprehensive migration partnership“ with Morocco now suggests that the North African country should be informed of „the potential benefits of a status agreement with the European Union“ that would allow the deployment of Frontex officials on its territory. The document (pdf), which is an updated version of a draft action plan originally sent by the Commission to the Council in October last year, notes that the country is a „leading partner“ in the region and that its cooperation with EU agencies provides „a model others may follow“.”

EU / Ukraine 23.03.22: The Independent: Non-white refugees fleeing Ukraine detained in EU immigration facilities: “Non-white students who have fled Ukraine have been detained by EU border authorities in what has been condemned as “clearly discriminatory” and “not acceptable”. An investigation by The Independent, in partnership with Lighthouse Reports and other media partners, reveals that Ukraine residents of African origin who have crossed the border to escape the war have been placed in closed facilities, with some having been there for a number of weeks. At least four students who have fled Vladimir Putin’s invasion are being held in a long-term holding facility Lesznowola, a village 40km from the Polish capital Warsaw, with little means of communication with the outside world and no legal advice.”

See also 02.03.22 Guardian: People of colour fleeing Ukraine attacked by Polish nationalists; 02.03.22: New York Times [Background Read]: They Came to Help Migrants. Now, Europe Has Turned on Them; 04.03.22 BBC: Ukraine: Why so many African and Indian students were in the country; 05.03.22 Al Jazeera: Hundreds of students trapped in Ukraine’s Sumy amid shelling; 05.03.22 Al Jazeera: Anti-migrant town welcomes Ukrainian refugees in Hungary; 07.03.22 Al Jazeera: Ukraine’s Roma refugees recount discrimination en route to safety; 10.03.22: Al Jazeera: Q&A: Understanding Europe’s response to Ukrainian refugee crisis [Background read]; 16.03.22: taz: Europa öffnet seine Türen (Europe opens its doors); 29.03.22: UNHCR: Refugees fleeing Ukraine (since 24 February 2022)

Frontex 11.03.21: Frontex: First humanitarian return flights by Frontex:Frontex started supporting EU Member States in the organization of humanitarian return flights. Frontex can charter aircrafts or buy tickets for commercial flights to allow them to leave. 394 people already left Poland on two charter flights to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan on 10 and 11 March. The majority of them were families with children.”

Frontex 17.03.22: Al Jazeera: Syrian asylum seeker sues EU border agency: “A Syrian [Alaa Hamoudi] who says he was illegally pushed back into Turkey by Greek authorities is suing the European Union border agency Frontex for alleged complicity. The Front-Lex legal association, which is representing the plaintiff Alaa Hamoudi, made the announcement on Thursday [17 March].”

Frontex 21.03.22: Der Spiegel/Lighthouse Reports: Pressure Growing on Frontex Chief from Pushbacks Investigation: “An investigation by the EU’s anti-corruption agency has put Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri in a tough spot. Evidence suggests that he attempted to cover up illegal activities by Greek border officials – against the will of his own staff. […] According to several people who were in attendance for the oral summary, the OLAF report accuses three members of Frontex leadership of having violated EU regulations. Furthermore, those violations were allegedly severe enough that OLAF has recommended disciplinary measures.”

See also 01.03.22: Der Spiegel: EU-Antibetrugsbehörde erhebt schwere Vorwürfe gegen Frontex (EU anti-fraud agency makes serious accusations against Frontex)


03/22: Free The El Hiblu 3: Publication. Free the El Hiblu 3: In 2019, 108 people on the move were rescued by the cargo ship „ElHiblu1“. European authorities instructed the ship to take the rescued people back to the civil war country Libya. Three youths persuaded the crew of the ship not to take the rescued people to Libya, the freighter turned around a few miles off the Libyan coast and took the survivors to Malta. Now before a Maltese court, the three teenagers, known as the El Hiblu 3, face serious charges of terrorism and could, if convicted, spend many years in prison. On 120 pages, the three accused, their lawyers, members of the campaign and the Freedom Commission denounce the injustice Abdalla, Amara and Kader experience in Malta since 2019.

03/22: Centre for Peace Studies and the Welcome Initiative: Report on illegal expulsions from Croatia in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pushback report: “The seventh report on violent and illegal expulsions brings an overview of 2020 and 2021 in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. […] [According to the report,] more than 16,400 people were pushed back in 2020, and at least 9,114 pushbacks took place in 2021. This is a continuation of a six year long illegal and systemic practice taking place in Croatia, evident from the statistical data acquired and presented in the report and numerous testimonies of victims, witnesses, and policemen forced to carry out illegal orders.”

03/22: MMC West Africa & North Africa 4Mi Snapshot: Financing of human smuggling in West and North Africa: “This snapshot focuses on the economics and financing of smuggling of people on the move in West and North Africa. It draws on 5,171 surveys with refugees and migrants conducted in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Libya and Tunisia from February to October 2021. It is also based on 356 surveys among smugglers conducted in the same countries during the same period. It analyses fees for smuggler services and payment modalities, providing valuable insights on the overall dynamics of smugglers’ economic activities.”

03/22: Border Violence Monitoring Network: Balkan Regional Report. February 2022: “This report brings together first-hand testimony from a range of countries in the region to look at the way European Union states and other actors are affecting systemic violence towards people crossing borders. […] this month’s report covers: trends in violent pushbacks from North Macedonia, Bulgaria and in BiH, 19 bodies found in Evros region, a court victory in Austria, where a verdict condemned the pushback of an unaccompanied minor, police raids, forced relocations, and raids on attacks on solidarity structures in Serbia, MEPs visiting the Western Balkans”

03/22: Alarmphone: Migrant resistance against yet another new level of brutality: “In the second half of 2021, Alarm Phone was alerted to 214 boats in the central Mediterranean region. Together with the 193 boats that Alarm Phone had supported in the first half of the year, in 2021 we assisted a total of 407 boats in distress in the central Mediterranean only. This is by far the highest number of distress cases reported to us in this region within a year. In 2019, Alarm Phone had assisted 101 cases. In 2020, we supported 173 distressed boats. This considerable increase in distress cases reflects both a significant increase of precarious crossings over the past years, as well as a greater knowledge of the Alarm Phone network among migrant communities.”


Petition Free the Samos Two: “On the Greek islands, the politics of criminalization and deterrence of refugees is escalating: in an unprecedented move, 25 years old N. is charged with the drowning of his 6-year-old son during a shipwreck. He will be on trial together with his co-passenger Hasan, 23 years old, who is facing life imprisonment for steering the boat – a common practice at Europe’s external borders. They will stand trial on 18 of May 2022 in Samos, Greece.” The campaign raises awareness and demands that all charges against N. and +Hasan to be dropped. Sign their petition here.

Petition Free Mimmo. End Fortress Europe: “Domenico ‚Mimmo‘ Lucano is the former mayor of Riace, a small town of less than 2,000 inhabitants in southern Italy, known as a “dying town.” […] Mimmo’s idea was simple: to bring life to Riace, welcome migrants. Mimmo […] resettled hundreds of migrant families, and the ‘global village’ of Riace flourished. […] Then, in September last year, the Italian courts sentenced Mimmo to a shocking 13 years in prison. […] Now, we are building a global coalition of citizens and parliamentarians to join his defense.”

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