Improving Migration Management: EU Considers Cooperation with Sudan and Eritrea

Written by | Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

The European Union is considering working with some of the more problematic African regimes, including Sudan, whose President is accused of war crimes, and Eritrea, whose government is prosecuted for crimes against humanity by the United Nations, in an attempt to regulate migration flows. To stem migration from the Horn of Africa, Brussels is expected to propose a cooperation with Sudan and Eritrea in the draft version of its foreign and security policy. The proposed project could see Khartoum getting EU finding for security services and more equipment to handle the migrants as well as assist Sudan’s judiciary.

However, a spokesperson for the EU Commission said that “There are also no [concrete] plans at this stage to provide equipment to the Sudanese government. Any decision to provide civilian equipment will be taken on the basis of a forthcoming appraisal mission to Sudan from the EU and the consortium of EU Member States.” Both Sudan and Eritrea are a major source of refugees, reaching the shores of Europe via the Mediterranean, while Sudan is moreover a key transit point for migrants moving between East Africa and Libya. Over 150,000 people reached Europe from Libya last year compared to the record of 170,000 in 2014.

The proposed foreign policy strategy – labeled “Better Migration Management” – also envisages sending more aid and technical assistance to about 20 countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Niger, Libya and Ethiopia, in an attempt to motivate their governments to curb irregular migration. This move comes after the EU reached a deal with Turkey, which allowed Brussels to focus more on curbing migration elsewhere. The deals with the shortlisted countries include a variety of tools, ranging from visa liberalization to increased job opportunities for refugees left behind in Africa.

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