Most read reports
- Thousands of families reunited one month after Ethiopia–Eritrea border reopens
- Eritrea: Peace deal could offer hope for reforms, including three key steps, says UN expert
- Can improved Ethiopia-Eritrea relations stabilise the region?
- Security Council Press Statement on Developments in Horn of Africa Region
- Along with Peace, Eritreans Need Repression to End
This Refugees International (RI) report examines the status of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel, as the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to either remove this population from Israel or place large numbers in indefinite detention. The report examines Israeli government policies that have denied protection to asylum seekers and alarming new proposals that would put this vulnerable population in greater peril.
Refugees International (RI) is dismayed at the sudden announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel the April 2 agreement between Israel and UNHCR regarding Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers.
RI welcomed the earlier agreement, detailed just hours prior to this cancellation announcement, which would have not only opened up additional refugee resettlement opportunities to Western countries for more than 16,000 African asylum seekers but would have provided temporary status inside Israel for more than 16,000 members of this vulnerable population.
As Europe faces its largest movement of refugees and migrants since World War II, the majority of refugees and migrants are reaching its borders by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While the majority of refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece in 2015 and early 2016, the main route is currently between Libya and Italy.
June 20, 2011 | Michel Gabaudan
Today is World Refugee Day -- a day for people to spend a little more time recognizing and honoring the world’s most vulnerable people. At a time when only a few of the world’s refugees and displaced people make the news headlines, I welcome any day that reminds people to stop and pay attention to all 43.7 million people who are struggling to rebuild their lives and communities.
- UNHCR should take stronger leadership in pressing governments to find and implement solutions for stateless persons and urge all countries, including the U.S., to become party and adhere to the statelessness conventions.
- H.E. the Amir of Kuwait and the Parliament should formalize and implement a plan to secure the civil and political rights to which every person is entitled.
The world community is no longer silent about statelessness. In recent years, countries such as Bangladesh, Estonia, Mauritania, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have made significant strides to protect the rights of stateless persons. The response of the United Nations (UN) has improved. Non-governmental agencies, legal experts, affected individuals, and others are joining forces to gather more accurate information and reduce the incidence of this often overlooked global phenomenon. Media attention has increased.
A centuries-long history of unity and separation continues to vex Ethiopia and Eritrea. Between May 1998 and June 2000, the two countries engaged in a border war in which tens of thousands of combatants were killed and some 650,000 civilians displaced.
During the 1998-2000 border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, more than 70,000 people died, 650,000 were displaced, and at least 70,000 individuals were deported, Ethiopians from Eritrea and Eritreans from Ethiopia. But these were not the only victims of the conflict.
Despite strong historic and ethnic ties, relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia have rarely been smooth. As a result, and particularly over the past decade, nationality rights of residents of both countries have been at risk.
After Eritrea's 30-year struggle for independence, the country peacefully became a state in 1993 through a referendum in which Eritreans in Ethiopia also voted.
As the 60-nation Oslo donor conference for Sudan concluded two weeks ago, the success of the meetings underscored an alarming disparity among international humanitarian response efforts. While the Sudan and the tsunami-affected countries are receiving strong financial support, the response to most humanitarian crises around the world remains severely under-funded and neglected.
Why are the Kunama Forgotten?
Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) recently returned from a visit to Ethiopia (see RI spotlight, January 17, for an interview with the Congressman). He reported that more than 11 million Ethiopians need food assistance this year -- about 20 percent of the total population of the country.
Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) has been involved in trying to solve problems of hunger in Africa since his first visit to Ethiopia at the outset of the famine there in 1984. He has just returned from an assessment mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea, where drought has caused crop failures once again that threaten an estimated 14 million people with starvation. Congressman Wolf returned from his trip passionately committed to raising awareness of the crisis and provoking action by the U.S. government and other donor nations to mitigate the effects of the drought in the Horn.
"The sad truth is that as things stand
the humanitarian system faces the prospect of being completely overwhelmed."
James T. Morris
Executive Director, World Food Programme
The international humanitarian aid system is facing unprecedented stress. Poor weather and the legacy of conflict are threatening tens of millions of people, primarily in Africa and Central Asia. The situation is so grave that Andrew Natsios, Administrator of the U.S.
The United Nations has recently completed a study of ways to respond to humanitarian emergencies involving internally displaced people (IDPs), but the recommendations do not go far enough.
"When we first came to Zula camp, it was bad. There was hunger and shelling. I was very afraid. I’m not afraid any more because we are safe here. Sometimes I dream about going back to my village, but I’m happy here." Alidi, a 12 year-old boy living at Zula camp for Eritrean IDPs, used these words to explain his current situation.
Testimony by Joel R. Charny Vice President for Policy, Refugees International To the House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
To Eritreans, home means everything. To Mussa Mohammed, an IDP in Dige camp who arrived in Eritrea five days ago, going home meant paying a Sudanese border guard more than one month's salary so he could be reunited with his two sons. For the tens of thousands of refugees voluntarily repatriating from Sudan, the return to Eritrea means arriving with almost no possessions, to homes that are very likely damaged or destroyed.