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Executive Summary for August 8th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a migrant rescue ship being turned away by Italy and Malta, Germany’s decision to resume returning refugees to Greece, and Sudan’s plan to divide a South Sudanese refugee camp into three units.

Published on Aug. 8, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

NGO Rescue Boat Refused Entry by Italy, Malta

An NGO rescue boat in the Mediterranean was stuck in international waters between Malta and Sicily on Aug. 8 after being denied entry by Italian and Maltese authorities.

The Golfo Azzurro vessel, operated by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, rescued three Libyans at sea on Aug. 6 under the coordination of the Italian coastguard in the Maltese search and rescue zone, Agence France-Presse reported.

The ship tried to dock at the nearest port on the Italian island of Lampedusa, but was not allowed to dock and told to go to Malta. Maltese authorities also refused the ship entry.

The confusion over the stranded rescue boat comes as Italy and its European partners try to clamp down on rescue missions in the Mediterranean with a new code of conduct that some NGOs have refused to sign. Proactiva Open is one of four NGOs that have signed the code.

Germany to Resume Returning Asylum Seekers to Greece

Germany will resume returning asylum seekers to Greece under the so-called Dublin Regulation, Greek officials announced Monday.

The E.U. regulation stipulates that asylum seekers should return to the first E.U. member state they entered in order to process their asylum claim there, but a European court ruled in 2011 to stop returns to Greece.

Europe announced in recent months it would resume returns for refugees who have arrived since March 2017. By the end of July, Germany had applied to return 392 asylum seekers to Greece.

“There was pressure from E.U. countries to start accepting resettlements. I understand that governments want to convince their citizens that they are doing something [about the refugee crisis]. That’s why I want to help them,” said Greek migration minister Ioannis Mouzalas.

Sudan to Divide South Sudanese Refugee Camp

The biggest camp for South Sudanese refugees in Sudan’s White Nile state will be split into three camps following an outbreak of violence last week, announced Sudanese interior minister Babekir Digna.

Sudan arrested 78 refugees after riots broke out in Khor al-Waral Camp on Aug. 1. The U.N. reported the riots were in response to the rumored death of a refugee youth in police custody.

The 53,000 refugees currently in al-Waral will be moved to three smaller units and newly arrived refugees will be required to register with local police before settling in the camps, Digna said.

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