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ICC Note: The United Nations security council will meet on Friday October 9th to consider whether the more prudent course of action taken on Eritrea is foreign aid or economic sanctions. Eritrea boasts the largest single group of refugees migrating to Europe at a rate of 5,000 per month. One approach is to provide monetary aid to Eritrea in order to combat poverty which has been considered to be one factor for the mass exodus. the alternative approach is to place sanctions on the nation in order to pressure President Afwerki to improve the nations horrific human rights record. In June, the UN commission of inquiry into human rights accused Eritrea of actions which could constitute crimes against humanity. Eritrea has been one of the worst violators of religious persecution, detaining Eritrean Christians in cargo containers with little to no food and subjecting them to constant physical torture.  

10/09/2015 Eritrea (The Guardian) – The UN security council will meet on Friday to consider a report on Eritrea’s alleged support for subversion across the Horn of Africa. The report, by the UN Monitoring Group on Eritrea and Somalia, will play an important part in the global body’s decision on whether to continue sanctions against the Eritrean regime.

Relations between President Isaias Afwerki’s government and the international community are at a crossroads. The UN and the EU may decide to embrace the regime despite its dire human rights record, ploughing aid into the country and attempting to crack down on the smugglers who have enabled tens of thousands of Eritreans to flee their homeland.

 

Equally, diplomats may conclude that until abuses in Eritrea end, people will continue to cross state borders at the rate of 5,000 a month. Should this be the case, pressure on Afwerki could be stepped up, with the UN adopting a wider range of sanctions and the EU refusing to consider Eritrea a suitable partner in its continuing African dialogue.

Eritreans make up one of the largest groups of refugees arriving on European shores – in April alone, more than 5,300 came ashore in Italy, according to UN figures.

EU governments are attempting to come up with a battery of policies aimed at sealing off “Fortress Europe” from unwanted migrants and increasing the speed and volume of deportations for refused asylum seekers.