Friday

19th Apr 2019

Sudan wants EU to pay for Libya border crackdown

  • The UN expects a spike in refugees and asylum-seekers in Sudan before the end of year (Photo: UNited Nations Photo)

Sudan wants EU money to shore up security and border controls along its 383-kilometer frontier with Libya.

Ibrahim Ghandour, Sudan’s minister of foreign affairs, told EUobserver the EU should help finance its border management.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

“Sudan is now trying to guard this border with Libya in cooperation with other neighbors as well. But as you know, with a long border and limited resources that may not be easy, but Sudan is doing its best,” he said.

Ghandour was in Valletta as part of larger two-day summit between EU and African leaders, aimed at stemming the flow of people from Africa to the EU.

The summit is billed as a new step in bi-continental relations, although similar declarations on migration and development had been signed into “action” nine years ago in Tripoli at the first EU-Africa summit.

The Valletta event, for its part, also aims to tackle big issues like root causes behind the migratory movement to Europe, with the EU pooling €1.87 billion into a new Africa Trust fund to launch projects on things like development and border control.

Twenty-five EU member states, aside from Croatia, Cyprus, and Greece, signed the fund into agreement on Thursday (12 November).

Ghandour, for his part, said Sudan is hoping the fresh money will support “border management and capacity building and other services particularly when we receive migrants”.

The fund will finance projects in the Sahel region and Lake Chad area, the Horn of Africa and the north of Africa as part of a so-called five point action plan.

The Trust Fund Board is chaired by the European commission. Board members are now meeting to decide how to divide up the money on projects to create jobs, food security, migration management, and the conflict prevention.

Migration management involves preventing people with no chance of international protection from reaching the EU.

The point was emphaised by EU council chief Donald Tusk who at the outset of the summit launch said "proper return and readmission to those not entitled to international protection is essential."

“To keep the doors open for refugees and legal migrants, irregular migrants should be returned effectively and quickly", he added.

Senegal's president Macky Sall said the fund is tool to "help curb the problems" when it comes to offering African youth more opportunities.

But not everyone is happy with amounts offered.

One EU official said African states complained that Turkey alone is set to get billions in comparison.

Oxfam’s EU Migration Policy Adviser, Sara Tesorieri also said it is unclear how the fund intends to reconcile development on the one hand and migration management on the other.

“We’ve had mixed objectives for this fund”, she said.

Amnesty International is also warning that bilateral agreements in the margins of the summit could lead to the “externalization of EU responsibilities of border control.”

Ghandour said the Sudanese delegation, on Wednesday, had only met with the minister of foreign affairs of Malta.

On Thursday, he is meeting with EU leaders.

“There are prospects of cooperation in particular with migration,” he said.

Once Africa’s largest country before splitting in two in 2011, Sudan hosts 167,000 refugees and asylum seekers in eastern Sudan, Darfur and Khartoum.

The UN agency for refugees (UNHCR) earlier this month said current trends in the region are likely “to increase exponentially as the humanitarian situation deteriorates.”

The agency estimates there could be to 460,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in Sudan by the end year.

But Sudan’s role in obtaining the funds has raised alarms among civil society given its poor human track record.

Sudan’s president Al-Bashir is accused of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western region of Darfur and is wanted by the International Criminal Court.

“Europe is risking its credibility as a defender of human rights,” said Oxfam’s Tesorieri, referring to EU dealmaking with questionable partners.

Turkey overshadows EU-Africa summit

With the Africa meeting over, EU leaders are turning to more pressing migration issues at home, with plans for another EU-Turkey summit.

Analysis

Bell tolls for EU asylum reforms

The cornerstone the EU's asylum reforms referred to by the shorthand as 'Dublin' could end up in the scrapheap following the European elections in May.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  6. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  7. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  8. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  9. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  11. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  12. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us