With average economic growth rates in African economies sinking to around 1.6% next year and conflict worsening, European Union officials are holding a summit on migration in Brussels on 20 October (see Pointer, Shifting borders south).
They want African governments to tighten border controls. One
proposal suggests countries that cooperate with EU border restrictions
and accept returned migrants would win higher levels of development aid
and market access. Those which don’t would face economic penalties. The
drafters of that policy will struggle to explain how further
impoverishing countries with high levels of migration is going to
improve regional stability.
The first deal, the Rabat Process in 2006, aimed to staunch the
flow of West African migrants through Morocco
en route to southern
Europe. A much more-criticised deal known as the Khartoum Process was
struck between the EU and the governments of the Horn of Africa in
2014. Human rights campaigners say that returning migrants to such
countries especially to Sudan,
could break EU human rights law.
On 10 October, German
Chancellor Angela Merkel
arrived in Addis
Ababa to meet Ethiopia's Prime
Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
previous day, Hailemariam had announced a state of emergency following
political clashes in Oromia in which more than 500 people died. Days
earlier, the Ethiopian government had dropped its earlier refusal to
accept the return of its nationals deported from Europe.