RMMS Mixed Migration Monthly Summary: East Africa and Yemen (February 2018)
Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) summary for February 2018 covering mixed migration events, trends and data for Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia / Somaliland and Yemen.
Asylum hearings in Israel: On 12 February 2018, an Israeli court ruled that Eritreans who deserted military service back home and came to Israel seeking refuge have grounds to be considered asylum seekers. Many Eritreans living in Israel claim to have fled Eritrea due to a restrictive regime that forced men to join a military service with slavery-like conditions. Majority of Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel have already had their asylum requests rejected by the Israeli Interior Ministry due to claims by the Israeli government that claims on army desertion were not grounds for asylum. However, officials now claim that the policy was “racist, noting that some 4,000 white Ukrainian and Georgians were deported for immigration offenses in 2017”.
Parliamentary elections: The legislative elections in Djibouti took place on 23 February, 2018 where President Ismael Omar Guelleh’s ruling party, Union for the Presidential Majority (UMP), took nearly 90% of parliamentary seats. Mr. Guelleh has ruled Djibouti since 1999 and was re-elected in 2016. Fifteen women, out of the stipulated 25%, won parliamentary seats with 14 of these from the ruling party. Prior to this, the Head of Election Observation Mission of the African Union, H.E Mr. AnicetGergoes Dologuélé and former Prime Minister of the Central African Republic met with the President of the Constitutional Council of Djibouti, H.E. Mr. Abdi Ibrahim Absieh and the Secretary General of the Council, Mrs. Fahima Abdi on 19 February 2018 to share views on Djibouti’s preparedness ahead of the legislative elections. Similarly, H.E. Mr Anicet later met with the President of the Independent National Electoral Commission Mr. Dini Mohamed Bourhan on 20 February 2018 where they discussed voting cards, ballots, polling stations and other election preparedness-related discussions.