The EU Is Spending Half a Billion Dollars on Resettling Mostly African Refugees

The European Commission seeks to resettle 50,000 refugees from various African nations through a new program.

The European Commission says that it has allocated $590 million towards the resettling of refugees from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia, to help discourage migrants from taking life-threatening trips through the Mediterranean, Al Jazeera reports.

On Wednesday, the European Union's executive branch shared its plan to resettle 50,000 refugees over a two year period by granting admission into countries that are part of the EU. The program was originally launched in 2015 during the height of the migrant crisis, but is now being extended to focus on refugees from a more expansive list of countries.

"We need to open real alternatives to taking perilous irregular journeys," said the EU's Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos  during a news conference in Brussels. "Europe has to show that it is ready to share responsibility with third countries, notably in Africa. People who are in genuine need of protection should not risk their lives or depend on smugglers," he continued.

The European Union has already resettled 23,000 migrants—mostly from refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey—under the scheme.

The EU previously had in place a more controversial plan, which ended on Wednesday. Under the terminated scheme, refugees were to be relocated across EU states to help alleviate "pressure" on Greece and Italy. Approximately 29,000 out of the proposed 160,000 refugees were resettled in European countries under the plan.

The new plan does comes with some stipulations, however. According to Al Jazeera, European countries are not legally bound by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to take in increased numbers of refugees, as each country decides resettlement numbers for themselves. Select nations retain the legal right to hold border checks for six months for security purposes.









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Photo: Getty

Here's What You Need To Know About The Political Unrest In Sudan

Thousands have been protesting the Sudanese government over the weekend, supporting the military's plans for a coup.

Sudan's transitional government is in turmoil as thousands of citizens conducted a sit-in protest against them, over the weekend. A group of Sudanese citizens have called on the military to disestablish the nation's current government, as the country struggles with the greatest crisis they've seen since the end of former dictator Omar al-Bashir's controversial ruling, two years ago. The weekend's pro-military protests come as anti-military protestors took to the streets earlier this month to fight for civilian-ruled laws.

Military-aligned demonstrators assembled outside of the famously off-limits entrance of the Presidential Palace located in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Monday. Gatherers set up tents, blocking off access to two main intersections, cutting off access to the capital for those inside. Police attempted to wave off crowds with teargas, with Khartoum state officials saying they had, "repelled an attempted assault on the seat of government," in a statement issued Monday.

The assembly was called for by a coalition of rebel groups and political parties that support Sudan's military, accusing the civilian political parties of mismanagement and monopolizing power under their ruling. Demonstrations began on Saturday, but Sunday's gathering saw a lower attendance. According to Reuters, by Monday afternoon, thousands, between 2,000 - 3,000, had returned to voice their concerns. 52-year-old tribal elder Tahar Fadl al-Mawla spoke at the helm of the sit-in outside of the Presidential palace saying, "The civilian government has failed. We want a government of soldiers to protect the transition." Alongside a 65-year-old Ahman Jumaa who claimed to have traveled more than 900 kilometers (570 miles) from Southern region Nyala to show his support.

Protesters are demanding the appointment of a new cabinet that is "more representative of the people who participated in the December 2019 revolution that eventually led to the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir", Al Jazeera reported from Sudan. Protesters headed towards the Presidential Palace, where an emergency cabinet meeting was being held when they were met by police forces.

Pro-civilian political parties have plans for their own demonstration on Thursday, the anniversary of the 1964 revolution that overthrew Sudan's first military regime under Ibrahim Abboud and brought in a period of democracy that the country still struggles to uphold.

Sudanese Twitter users shared their thoughts online, with many drawing similarities between the current unrest and other political crises the nation has faced.

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