Monthly Press listing August 2012
1. SOMALIA: Next stop Kismayu
IRIN August 15 2012
NAIROBI/MOGADISHU, 15 August 2012 (IRIN) - Even before it kicks off in earnest, the assault on Somalia's port city of Kismayo is causing jitters. A preliminary push by UN-backed African Union troops on the last bastion of Somalia’s Al-Shabab insurgency has already added to Somalia’s civilian casualties, and there are fears that more may lie ahead as air, ground and naval operations in the strategic city escalate.
2. Somali Olympic runner drowns trying to reach Europe
BBC August 21 2012
A Somali Olympic athlete has reportedly drowned while attempting to reach Europe on a migrant boat. Runner Samia Yusuf Omar was trying to cross from Libya to Italy in April when the boat she was travelling in sank, according to Italian media.
3. Sudanese refugees face humanitarian disaster
BBC News Africa August 17 2012
More than 100,000 Sudanese refugees have arrived in Batil and other camps from just over the border in Blue Nile. People are dying in large numbers in a refugee camp in South Sudan, Medecins Sans Frontieres has warned.
4. Ethiopia: Prominent muslims detained in crack down
HRW, August 15 2012
The Ethiopian government should immediately release 17 prominent Muslim leaders arrested as part of a brutal crackdown on peaceful Muslim protesters in Addis Ababa, Human Rights Watch said today. A court is expected to rule during the week of August 13, 2012, on whether to bring charges against the detainees who have been held for almost three weeks in a notorious prison without access to lawyers.
5. Alshabaab suspect arrested in Kenya
Xinhua, August 09 2012
GARISSA, Kenya, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police have arrested suspected Al-Shabaab fighter who is behind a spate of crimes in Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp in northern Kenya. Regional deputy police commander, Noor Gabow said on Thursday that Mohamed Ibrahim Ali was arrested by fellow refugees who raised the alarm after he went to rob in her homestead.
6. Ethiopians stage protest at refugee camp
Yemen Times August 02, 2012
SANA’A, Aug. 1 — Hundreds of Ethiopians living in Kharaz refugee camp peacefully demonstrated in front of the Administration and Accommodation compound on Monday, demanding repatriation back to Ethiopia, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency, UNHCR. Demonstrators blocked the entrance and exit to the compound, temporarily blocking U.N. staff and their partners from entering or leaving the camp.
7. Time running out for solution to water crisis
IRIN August 13 2012
SANA’A, 13 August 2012 (IRIN) - Under a staircase, clinging to a wall of Sana’a’s Grand Mosque, groups of women and children lug plastic canisters to the leaky spigots of a public fountain. Some small children struggle with canisters nearly their size as they weave slowly between the fountain and the pushcarts used to wheel the water back home.
8. Coastal security procedures uptick to starve off Somali extremists to Yemen
Yemen Times August 11 2012
SANA’A, Aug. 11 — Yemeni coastal forces joined together to increase security measures along the Gulf of Aden through intensifying patrols and inspections of boats arriving from African nations.
Yemen arrivals increase as Horn of Africa mixed migration hits all time high
Relief web, 28 August 2012
The flow of refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa across the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea towards Yemen continues to exceed previous records. In the first seven of 2012, more than 63,800 people made this perilous journey compared to 48,700 during the same period last year – a 30 per cent increase. 2011 was also a record year with more than 103,000 arrivals by sea to Yemen, the highest total since 2006 when UNHCR started collecting data on this route.
9. Italy rescues 75 boat migrants from Africa
Capital fm July 28 2012
ROME, July 28 – The Italian coast guard rescued 75 immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa from a drifting dinghy on Saturday after receiving an emergency call for help by satellite phone, a spokesman told AFP.
“There are 75 immigrants, 24 of whom are women. They’re all exhausted but no one needs immediate medical attention,” said spokesman Filippo Marini.
10. EU: Needless deaths in the Mediterranean
HRW August 15 2012
(London) - Rescue operations in the Mediterranean are hampered by poor coordination, disputes over responsibility, disincentives for commercial vessels to conduct rescues, and an emphasis on border enforcement, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper published today.
11. Greek crack down on illegal migrants leads to mass arrests
Guardian August 07, 2012
Greek authorities have begun one of the country's biggest crackdowns yet on suspected illegal immigrants, deploying 4,500 police around Athens and detaining more than 7,000 immigrants in less than 72 hours.
12. Greece “an unsafe environment for migrants”
IRIN August 17 2012
BANGKOK, 17 August 2012 (IRIN) - Human rights groups have condemned recent police crackdowns in Greece on undocumented migrants, inhumane detention conditions, and hate crimes committed with impunity. The Greek authorities began a crackdown on irregular migrants in the capital, Athens, in early August, when the police arrested 7,754 migrants, 1,656 of whom were taken to detention centres for being in the country illegally.
Republic of South Africa
13. Refugee resettlement still a last resort
IRIN News August 01, 2012
OHANNESBURG, 1 August 2012 (IRIN) - After five years of hoping and waiting, Marie*, her husband Simeon* and their three children, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, finally received a phone call telling them to pack their bags; they would be leaving South Africa for Australia at the end of the month.
14. Rights groups: IDF catching African migrants inside Egyptian territory
HAARETZ August 10 2012
According to a report released by Israeli human-rights organizations, IDF soldiers have been intercepting migrants before they reach the border, then turning them over to Egyptian forces.
15. Israeli soldiers preemptively arrest migrants on Egyptian territory
Egypt Independent, August 10 2012
“The catching of the three [infiltrators] occurred in the early morning, a few tens of meters from the border, inside the Egyptian territory. We guarded the three a few hours and afterwards we marched them along the border, on the Egyptian side, a few kilometers until the point where we were supposed to hand them to the Egyptian forces,” an Israeli reserve duty soldier wrote in an affidavit received by Israeli attorney Anat Ben-Dor, who works on migrant issues, on 27 July 2012.
United States of America
16. US drive against Alshabaab pressures Somali money
Reuters July 31, 2012
By David Bailey
(Reuters) - A Chicago man pleaded guilty on Monday to planning to join an al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia, the latest U.S. prosecution in a crackdown that has made it harder for Somali-Americans to send money to the war-torn country.