‘Khartoum Process’ meeting agrees concrete action is needed to save lives in the Mediterranean Sea

Egypt - The first Steering Committee Meeting of the EU-Horn of African Initiative attended by the IOM was held last week in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt where the imperative was to save the lives of migrants. Among the key outcomes to emerge from the meeting were calls to continue to promote effective dialogue with countries of origin, transit, and destination of migrants to comprehensively address and combat human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants from the Horn of Africa through North Africa.

Following the death of over 1,700 migrants, in the Mediterranean so far this year, the meeting, which came at a critical time, ensured follow-up on the implementation of national and regional projects in the framework of the Rome Declaration signed on November 2014, covering the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative, also known as the ‘Khartoum Process’.

IOM Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Pasquale Lupoli underlined the importance of the meeting saying: “In humanitarian terms, the situation facing both sides of the Mediterranean is an emergency, given the risks that migrants face and the violations they suffer. But this is not a situation that can be solved through humanitarian emergency response measures alone.”

“IOM will continue to support efforts to ensure that migration systems do not make the most vulnerable pay with their lives while equally ensuring that migration takes place within the rule of law and maximizes the social and economic developmental potentials for both migrants and States,” Lupoli said.

Five African countries participated in the meeting: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, as did five EU member states: France, Germany, Italy, Malta and the UK. Besides IOM, the European Commission, UNHCR and UNODC also participated in the meeting.

For further information please contact Sarah Craggs or Donato Colucci, Email:, IOM MENA Regional Office – Cairo, Egypt, Tel: +20 2 273 651 40/1