Testing Monthly

APRIL 2021

NEW ON MIGRATION-CONTROL.INFO

Wiki Khartoum Process by Louise Sullivan: “The Khartoum Process extends the borders of the European Union into African states and offloads responsibility for managing those borders onto Africa, rewarding tighter controls and reduction in migrant arrivals to the EU.”

Wiki MINUSMA German // English by Christoph Marischka by the Informationsstelle Militarisierung. The report introduces the MINUSMA mission and several others present in the Sahel region, e.g. the EUTM, the Operation Barkhane and the Force Conjointe G5 Sahel. The mandates of the various missions also include combating „human trafficking“, which means that the control of illegalised migration and the restriction of the freedom of movement of the local population can be assumed as a further objective.

Blog The Atlantic Route to Europe and the Border Regime in Mauritania by Hassan Oud Moctar on how the EU border regime in Mauritania results in an enmeshment of hitherto distinct regimes of violence, precarity, and exclusion. 

EAST AFRICA

Ethiopia 19.04.21: Al Jazeera:  Why is ethnic violence surging in Ethiopia?:Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency in the southern part of its federal state Amhara following the surge in violence . The Amhara region is dominated by the country’s second largest ethnic group, the Amhara ethnic group and borders the Federal State of Oromia, which is predominantly populated by the country’s largest ethnic group. The declaration of the state of emergency follows violence on both sides of the borders between Amhara and Oromia and three days of violence in the city of Ataye, Amhara. 

Kenya 29.04.2021: The East African: Kenya revises refugee camp closure to June 2022: Following an agreement reached between the UNHCR and Kenya’s government, Kenya decided to postpone its intended closure of the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps to June next year. Under the agreement at least 15,000 refugees currently living in the camps will be either resettled to third countries or returned. The announcement marks the fifth time that Kenya’s government has delayed its plan to close the camps. 

Mozambique/EU 03.04.21: Telepolis: EU-Einsatz und Flüssiggas (Mozambique: EU deployment and liquid gas): Following the deadly insurgent attack on the Mozambiquan city of Palma and growing instability in Mozambique, the European Union has, according to the news portal  Bruxelles2 made first plans to launch a European Training Mission to the country counting 120 -150 soldiers supported by Portugal, Sweden, France and Spain. The groundwork for the mission will reportedly be conducted by a Portugese military mission of 60 soldiers. The article warns that the current security crisis Mozambique is facing cannot be simply understood through the binary of djihadist vs. government, but must be embedded in an analysis of the political economy of oil extraction in the Northern part of the country. 

See also:  04.04.21: The Guardian: Africa and west must unite to halt Mozambique insurgency, experts say, 06.04.21: TAZ: „Sie haben Palma getötet“ (They have killed Palma),

Sudan 03.05.2021: All Africa/ Dabanga Sudan: West Darfur Victims Committee Calls On Sudan Govt and UN to Protect Civilians: Following violent attacks by militias on the Sudan’s West Darfur state’s capital El Geneina and adjacent camp for displaced populations in January and beginning of April, which costed the lives of more than 100 people, the El Geneina Victims Committee called on the UN Security Council to send forces to protect the people of West Darfur. According to the committee further demanded  „the immediate withdrawal of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the joint Third Front Forces“ from the state, for their alleged complicity in the attacks. 

See also: 08.04.21: TNH: What’s behind the rising violence in Sudan’s Darfur?; 06.04.21: All Africa: Sudan: New Wave of Violence in West Darfur’s El Geneina Takes At Least 56 Lives

WEST AFRICA

Mali 09.04.21: Sahel Analysis: Sahel: More European troops headed to Mali. Danish special forces are next: “Denmark plans to deploy about 100 special forces to Mali early next year to boost the elite anti-jihadist European task force Takuba headed by France. The Danish contingent, which apart from the special forces will also include top level military officers and surgeons, will be deployed at the beginning of 2022, the ministries said. Copenhagen also plans to send a military transport plane to assist the UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA.”

Mali 29.04.21: Human Rights Watch:  Mali: Killings, ‘Disappearances’ in Military Operations:Malian soldiers have allegedly killed at least 34 villagers, forcibly disappeared at least 16 people, and severely mistreated detainees during counterterrorism operations in Mali’s central Mopti region, Human Rights Watch said today.  All were committed since the transitional government took power in an August 18, 2020 coup.”

Chad 21.04.2021: BBC:  Chad president’s death: Rivals condemn ‘dynastic coup’: Chad’s President Idriss Déby died following his contested election victory, after having been shot on the frontline with rebels. Meanwhile, Chad’s main opposition parties have condemned the appointment of the President’s son, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno for the next 18 month as an ‘institutional coup’. 

Chad 27.04.21: Al Jazeera: Chad protests turn deadly as demonstrators demand civilian rule: At least five people have been killed in Chad as demonstrators took to the streets demanding a return to civilian rule after the military took control following President Idriss Deby’s death last week. “

Chad 02.05.21: Al Jazeera: Chad military council names transitional government:Deby’s 37-year-old son Mahamat, who took the helm of the so-called “Transitional Military Council (CMT)”, named a government on Sunday comprising 40 ministers and deputy ministers and created a new national reconciliation ministry, military council spokesman Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a televised statement.”

See also: 21.04.2021: Al Jazeera : Who are Chad’s FACT rebels and what are their goals?, 23.04.21: TAZ : „Tschad ist kein demokratisches Land” (Chad is not a Democratic Country), 30.04.2021: New Left Review: The End of Déby (Rahmane Idrissa) 

Sahel/ Niger/Chad 03.04.21: Al Jazeera: Niger body urges independent probe into ‘rapes’ by Chadian troops: “France and other allies praised Chad in February after it deployed 1,200 troops to the tri-border region between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali to reinforce 5,100 French soldiers […] Besides the alleged rape cases … Chadian troops have also been accused of assault and confiscation of private properties in the Tera region in the west of the country near the Burkina Faso border where they are deployed.” 

Sahel / Niger: 12.04.21 Defence Web: Mambas join G5 Sahel efforts in Niger:
Sixteen Mamba armoured personnel carriers (APCs) have been provided by the US military’s Africa Command Africom to  join the G5 Sahel Joint Force in northern Niger.

Sahel 27.04.21: Al Jazeera:  Record 29 million in the Sahel in need of humanitarian assistance: ”A record 29 million people in six countries of the unrest-hit Sahel region are in need of humanitarian assistance in the face of “unparalleled” insecurity and growing hunger, the United Nations and NGOs have warned. In a statement released on Tuesday, the signatories said another five million people were now in need of assistance in Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger and northeastern Nigeria compared with last year.”

See also: 20.04.2021:The Guardian:   ‘People are not starving, they’re being starved’: millions at risk of famine, NGOs warn, 28.04.21:The Guardian:   Almost 30 million will need aid in Sahel this year as crisis worsens, UN warns

Sahel 14.04.2021: ISS Today: Military operations that cause civilian deaths and violate human rights are fuelling terrorist groups’ propaganda: “National and foreign forces deployed to fight terrorism in the Sahel are increasingly harming civilians. Figures from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) indicate that security forces caused more civilian fatalities in Mali and Burkina Faso in 2020 than violent extremist groups or communal violence (…) Things aren’t getting any better this year. French Operation Barkhane, Chadian contingents of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and other national and international forces in the region have recently faced serious allegations of human rights violations against locals.”

Senegal 10.04.2021: RFI: Sénégal : la question migratoire au centre de la visite du chef du gouvernement espagnol (Senegal: the migration issue at the centre of the visit of the head of the Spanish government): Migration was the central issue of the visit of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez earlier this month which reportedly culminated in the signature of an agreement according to which a circular migration policy would be introduced. Meanwhile, the resumption of deportation flights was reportedly agreed on as well, without further specification on number and dates. 

Senegal 14.04.21: Statewatch: Senegal: Biometric population database will facilitate deportations, restricted EU document confirms: The completion of a national biometric population database in Senegal would facilitate the forced removal of more Senegalese citizens from the EU by allowing for a “consolidated” identification procedure, according to a restricted European Commission document obtained by Statewatch.

NORTH AFRICA

Libya / Italy 07.04.21: NZZ:  Draghi bringt Rom auf die internationale Bühne zurück (Draghi puts Rome back on the international stage): On his first trip abroad as Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi visited Tripoli – not Paris or Berlin. […]In the consultations with  head of the Libyan government of national unity, Abdul Hamid Dabaiba, migration was on the agenda. Dabaiba affirmed  the importance of cooperation on migration which was set down in the Italy-Libya Partnership agreement 2008. In the article, the economic interests of Italy in Libya are explained, which include the mining of crude oil and gas, solar power stations and other infrastructure projects. Added to this are security interests; Libyan security forces play a crucial role in preventing migrants from Africa and Asia to cross the Mediterranean into Italy. 


See also: 23.04.21: ECRE: Italy and Libya Reaffirm Bilateral Relations as Transcripts of Controversial Italian/Libyan Communication Emerge, Crack-down on Civil Rescue Fleet and Deaths at Sea Continue 

Libya 13.04.21: Guardian: Libya releases man described as one of world’s most wanted human traffickers: Libyan authorities have released the coastguard commander Abd al-Rahman Milas known by his alias Bija. He is suspected of being part of a criminal network operating in Zawiyah in north-west Libya, involved in human trafficking and sinking of migrant boats. He was arrested in October 2020 but freed on April 11 2021 after the military attorney general of Tripoli dropped charges against him “for lack of evidence”.

See also: 30.04.21: Guardian: ‘Cruel’ trafficker accused of torturing refugees found guilty in Ethiopia

Libya / Mediterranean 22.04.21: Alarmphone: Coordinating a maritime disaster: Up to 130 people drown off Libya: “Alarm Phone reports yet another massacre off the Libyan coast: We fear that up to 130 people have lost their lives. The people could have been rescued but all authorities knowingly left them to die at sea”.

See also: 25.04.21: The Guardian: A mayday call, a dash across the Mediterranean … and 130 souls lost at sea; 23.04.21: taz: Katastrophe im Mittelmeer: Das Sterben geht weiter (Catastrophe in the Mediterranean: the dying continues); 30.04.21: The Guardian: More than 100 lone children rescued trying to cross Mediterranean; 01.04.21: Al Jazeera: More than 800 migrants rescued in Mediterranean head to Italy 

Mediterranean / Libya / Turkey 12.04.21: Al Jazeera: Turkey and Libya renew commitment to contested maritime deal: “The head of Libya’s new interim government and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have affirmed their commitment to a controversial 2019 maritime agreement that has angered Greece and Cyprus.Erdogan pledged to support Libya’s unity, its reconstruction and its military. […] “This is the first meeting of the so-called Turkey-Libya High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council” . 

Morocco / Spain 15.04.21: Telepolis: Spanische Menschenrechtsaktivistin fürchtet um ihr Leben (Spanish human rights activist fears for her life):The human rights defender  Helena Maleno was deported from Morocco to Spain. Maleno, who is originally from Spain but living in Morocco for 20 years, is the founder of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Caminando Fronteras/Walking Borders. She is a critic of European and Spanish migrations policies, such as the deadly events on the beach of Tarajal in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, where 15 people drowned when the Guardia Civil opened fire at swimming people with rubber bullets.

Morocco 12.04.21 Telepolis: Marokko führt Drohnenkrieg in der besetzten Westsahara (Morocco wages drone warfare in occupied Western Sahara): The colonial conflict between the autocratic Kingdom of Morocco and the largely occupied Western Sahara continues to escalate. As confirmed by the Sahrawi Liberation Front Polisario, the head of the Sahrawi National Guard Addah Al-Bendir was assassinated April 8. It is believed to be a Moroccan drone attack conducted with an Israelian Heron drone (Sky Strikers).

 

European Union

EU 27.04.21: AP: EU unveils plan to send more unauthorized migrants home: The European Commission unveiled a plan on so-called voluntary return and reintegration. The strategy focuses on encouraging migrants refused entry into Europe to agree to be deported voluntarily, to persuade reluctant home countries to take migrants back, and to help people better reintegrate once they get there. 

EU/Sahel 28.04.21: Le Monde: Josep Borrell : « Au Sahel, nous avons peut-être signé trop de chèques en blanc » („In the Sahel, we may have signed too many blank cheques”): For Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the war that has been undermining the Sahel for nearly ten years will not be won solely on the military front. Returning from a four-day tour of Mauritania, Chad and Mali, the vice-president of the European Commission details the EU’s new strategy in the Sahel in an interview with Le Monde. 

Mediterranean / Frontex 29.04.21: Der Spiegel: How Frontex Helps Haul Migrants Back To Libyan Torture Camps: “This research has exposed for the first time the extent of the cooperation between Frontex and the Libyan coast guard. Europe’s border protection agency is playing an active role in the interceptions conducted by the Libyans. The reporting showed that Frontex flew over migrant boats on at least 20 occasions since January 2020 before the Libyan coast guard hauled them back. At times, the Libyans drove deep in the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone, an area over which the Europeans have jurisdiction.”

EUROPE

Balkan Route / Serbia 26.03.21: The Guardian: ‘They can see us in the dark’: migrants grapple with hi-tech fortress EU: Drones, thermal-vision cameras and devices that can detect a heartbeat are among the new technological tools being increasingly used by European police to stop migrants from crossing borders, or to push them back when they do. The militarisation of Europe’s borders has been increasing steadily since 2015, when the influx of migrants reached its peak. The EU has invested in fortifying borders, earmarking €34.9bn (£30bn) in funding for border and migration management for the 2021-27 budget, while sidelining the creation of safe passages and fair asylum processes.”

See also: 05.04.21: Il Post: Contro i migranti, l’Europa usa qualsiasi mezzo (Against migrants: Europe uses any means); 02.04.21: ECRE: Balkan Route: Deterrence, Abuse and Illegality in the Forgotten Corner of Europe 

Denmark 12.04.21: Al Jazeera: Danish plan to repatriate Syrian refugees sparks controversy: Legal experts and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) among those criticising Denmark’s decision to revoke residence permits for Syrian refugees, citing a “safe” situation around Damascus, but the country is sticking to its position.The tough Danish stance is a new sign of the country now having one of Europe’s most restrictive migration policies. 

France / UK, Calais 07.04.21: Stuttgarter Zeitung:Immer mehr Fluchtversuche über den Ärmelkanal More and more escape attempts across the English Channel): “Figures published by the French Central Bureau for Migration and Irregular Immigration (Ocriest) show an increase in crossings from France to the UK. According to the agency, around 600 „successful crossings“ across the English Channel were registered in 2020, and almost 700 attempts were prevented by the emergency services. According to Xavier Delrieu, head of Ocriest, 267 smaller smuggling networks were uncovered in the north of France alone. 980 smugglers, forgers and people offering shelter to migrants were arrested in the course of the investigation.” 

See also: 17.04.21: Die Presse: Drohnen-Wachboote gegen illegale Migration (Drone guard boats against illegal migration) 

Mediterranean / Italy 09.04.21 Guardian: Italian prosecutors secretly recorded human rights lawyers: “Prosecutors in Italy have secretly recorded hundreds of conversations between human rights lawyers and their clients in cases related to allegations that NGOs operating rescue boats that saved thousands from drowning in the Mediterranean”:  

See also: 16.04.21: The Guardian: ‘It’s a day off’: wiretaps show Mediterranean migrants were left to die;

Mediterranean / Italy 18.04.21: Tagesschau: Blockade eines Rettungsschiffs: Salvini kommt vor Gericht (Blockade of a rescue ship: Salvini comes to court): In 2019, Italy’s then interior minister Salvini refused for days to allow a ship with 150 refugees on board to dock in Lampedusa. He will soon have to stand trial for this. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Germany 09.04.21: Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg: Proteste gegen Sammelabschiebung vom BER-Flughafen nach Afghanistan (Protests against collective deportation from BER Airport to Afghanistan): On April 7, the 38th collective deportation from Germany to Afghanistan took place in the late evening. For the first time, the deportation flight departed from BER Airport in Schönefeld. A total of 20 people from a total of seven federal states were deported. In addition to Brandenburg, the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony were involved.

See also: 08.04.21: Infomigrants: Demonstrators gather at Berlin airport to protest deportation flight to Afghanistan 

Greece  02.04.21: ECRE: Millions of EU Euros for Fenced Structures in the Aegean, Preventable Deaths in Detention, and Pushbacks Dismissed as “Fake News” by Greece: “European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson toured the eastern Aegean and announced over 250 million euro of EU funds for reception structures on five Greek islands. The Commissioner and Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi said new structures on Lesvos and Samos will be fenced and have controlled entry and exit”.

See also 28.04.21: Wired.itLa Grecia arruola sistemi di sorveglienza tech per i campi migranti nelle isole dell’Egeo (Greece enlists tech surveillance systems for migrant camps on Aegean islands); 30.04.21: Al Jazeera: Refugees forced to uproot again as Greece closes ‘safe’ camp 

 

REPORTS

April 2021 ACLED: A Turbulent Run-up to Elections in Somalia: Somalia’s parliamentary and presidential elections are set to take place amidst a general climate of political tensions and violence. A constitutional crisis stoked by months of political deadlock between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ and the opposition threatens to escalate into a violent conflict pitting federal forces against state-based militias, as well as armed clans with competing loyalties. Across the country, signs of increasing unrest have surfaced in Somalia’s federal states of Jubaland, Galmudug, and Hirshabelle, exposing the risk of a violent turn in Somalia’s political crisis.

13.04.21 Global Detention Project: Global Detention Project Annual Report 2020 

April 2021 No Border Assembly: Border Profiteers. Corporations Profiting from Borders, Detentions and Deportations. Berlin Edition: “This booklet has gathered a list of corporations that profit from deportations, from managing detention centres, from building fences, selling ships, drones or planes patrolling the Mediterranean, subcontracted security guards, providing data collection, border surveillance software, id control mechanisms, racist policy consultation, prison construction and any other form of oppression that limits people’s freedom of movement and right to stay.”  

April 2021:  Mixed Migration Centre: Needs and challenges of refugees and migrants in northwest Italy: This snapshot offers an analysis of the needs and challenges of refugees and migrants in northern Italy (Piedmont and Liguria regions). It is based on 51 interviews conducted in five different locations between January and February 2021. The first section of the report covers both refugees and migrants in transit and those aiming at settling in Italy, while the second part focuses on the specific needs of the latter. This snapshot aims to contribute towards a solid evidence base to inform targeted responses on the ground, as well as advocacy efforts related to the situation of refugees and migrants in Italy.

April 2021: Pro Asyl: Stellungnahme zur aktuellen Situation international Schutzberechtigter in Griechenland (Statement on the current situation of beneficiaries of international protection in Greece): This statement and expert opinion by PRO ASYL / RSA bundles findings from beneficiaries of international protection in Greece and also explicitly highlights the circumstances that beneficiaries of protection are exposed to after deportation from other countries.

30.03.21: Statewatch: Transparency and accountability of Frontex: re-launch of Statewatch Observatory and new policy briefing: “Statewatch is today launching an updated and improved Observatory on the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, providing a focal point for documentation and analysis on the role and activities of the agency. The re-launch of the Observatory is accompanied by a policy brief that provides an overview of all the ongoing investigations and inquiries into the activities of Frontex. New to the Observatory are sections on access to documents and legal and administrative complaints. These contain documents obtained through requests made by Statewatch, and correspondence related to administrative complaints made by Statewatch about Frontex, respectively”.

19.04.2021: Human Rights Observers: „Eine diskrete Nekropolitik“: Jahresbericht 2020 der Human Rights Observers („A discreet necropolitics“: Human Rights Observers‘ 2020 Annual Report): The annual report by the HRO (Human rights observers) makes visible the violence perpetrated against people in transit in Calais and Grande-Synthe. In 2020 alone 1058 evictions have been documented, and in Calais, at least 2816 tents/ tarpaulins, 802 sleeping bags/blankets, 228 bags, 116 bicycles and other personal belongings confiscated. In Grande-Synthe, at least 2110 tents/blankets, 357 sleeping bags/blankets and 32 bags were confiscated.

19.04.2021: Levy Firestone Muse Litigation: A Foreseeable Genocide: The Role of the French Government in Connection with the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda: A commissioned report by the government of Rwanda, which was released in mid-April finds that the French government was “neither blind nor unconscious” regarding the imminent genocide, but continued to support the Rwandan government at the time in order to advance its own influence and interest in the country. 

April 2021: EuroMed Rights: Return Mania. Mapping policies and practices in the EuroMed regionThe research provides an overview of the current return policies and practices in the Euro-Mediterranean region and sheds a light on the violations of human rights entailed by this “return obsession”, which is shared across Member States, EU institutions and third countries alike.

UPCOMING EVENTS

May 21th Transnational Action Day: Afrique-Europe-Interact (ae act) is calling for a transnational day of action for freedom of movement instead of deportations. Under the slogan „No to neocolonial collaboration!“, protests will take place in Berlin in front of the Nigerien, Tunisian and Algerian embassies. There will also be simultaneous protests in Agadez, Sokodé, Kindia and Bamako.

June 18/19th Border Abolition 2021: Border Abolition 2021 will be a two-day online event aimed at connecting organising, campaigning, activist research and academic work around border violence, racism, incarceration and abolitionism.

June 25/26th From the Sea to the City Conference: “The conference ‘From the Sea to the City’ will bring together European mayors, city representatives and civil society from all over Europe that advocate for safe passage in order to open up opportunities for practical, open-minded solutions which place human rights at the center of the future migration politics”.

 

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