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Executive Summary for June 28th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the displacement of thousands in South Sudan, Kenya’s new plan to repatriate half of the population of Dadaab and the condemnation of the E.U.’s newest migration proposal.

Published on June 28, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Thousands Flee Renewed Fighting in South Sudan

Tens of thousands have fled in the northwest of South Sudan after fighting erupted between government forces and armed groups over the weekend, the United Nations reported.

The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) created a security cordon in Wau to “allow civilians fleeing violence access and protection,” according to local media. UNMISS is providing shelter for “approximately 10,000 civilians,” the U.N. said.

Additionally, at least 5,000 civilians fled to the International Red Cross compound, Leon Arkangelo, head of the Red Cross in Wau, told Voice of America.

The U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon condemned the clashes and called for talks, urging “all parties to agree to dialogue to resolve their political disputes.”

He also commended UNMISS for “taking proactive steps to protect fleeing civilians outside their base in Wau.”

UNHCR: 150,000 Somali Refugees to be Repatriated by December

Kenya will repatriate almost half the population of Dadaab refugee camp by December 2016, said the Tripartite Commission, made up of Kenyan and Somali government representatives and the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).

More than 325,000 mostly Somali refugees currently live in the world’s largest camp complex.

“The parties noted the prospect of the reduction of the population in the Dadaab camps by 150,000 individuals by the end of 2016,” the Commission said in a communiqué.

The repatriation process will be a “result of voluntary returns to Somalia, relocation of non-Somali refugees, the deregistration of Kenyan citizens who registered as refugees and a population verification exercise,” the communiqué added.

Reuters reported that a U.N. official said the reduction target is only a “prospective figure” and there is no “guarantee” it can be achieved.

Kenya originally announced that Dadaab would close by November 2016. After much international criticism over the risk of forced return to Somalia, the Kenyan government agreed to amend its decision.

More Than 100 NGOs Condemn European Commission on Migration Proposal

More than 100 NGOs have called on European Union leaders to reject the European Commission’s newest proposal on migration in a joint statement released on the eve of the E.U. summit in Brussels.

The Commission’s proposal would tie financial assistance to African countries to their ability to reduce the flow of migrants to Europe. It also recommends hastening readmission deals to make it easier to send back migrants.

Amnesty International dismissed the E.U.’s plan as “responsibility-shirking, not responsibility-sharing.”

The NGOs warned that the E.U. “risks torpedoing its human rights foreign policy, and undermining the right to asylum internationally” for the sole purpose of curbing migration. The proposal could violate “international law which forbids pushbacks to places where people are at risk of rights violations,” the statement added.

The NGOs called for a “sustainable long-term strategy for migration management” instead.

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