Author Archives: Europe correspondent

Combating sexual violence in conflict

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the European Union and the United Nations join their voices to call on the international community to accelerate its efforts to eliminate the scourge of all forms of sexual violence, including as a strategy and tactic of war and terror.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict we salute @DenisMukwege, Sakharov and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and all those who fight against the horrors of sexual violence“, the European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, the wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

More must be done to stop barbarity against women as a weapon of war.

#EDD: “Inequality is not sustainable”

Illegal migration and people smuggling from Africa to Europe demonstrate a joint interest in tackling the causes of that migration at source by providing new opportunities in the migrants’ home countries. ‘Inequality is the source of nationalisms and populisms,’ warned Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Parliament. ‘If we want to tackle the issue of migration from Africa, we have to see it through African eyes.’ He suggested that African transformation of African raw materials could be promoted, so creating new industries and jobs.

Inequality can not be sustainable. It can only generate significant migratory flows, particularly to the richest countries, including Europe. Reducing them is a shared responsibility, we must commit ourselves to themTajani concluded.

EU supports AU leadership in Sudan

“Over the past six months the people of Sudan, with the strong participation of women and youth, have clearly and bravely demanded a new path for their country, one of democracy, political plurality, security and prosperity. This represents a historic opportunity for Sudan. A peaceful, united, democratic and prosperous Sudan remains crucial, including for the peace and stability of the region, and is a priority for the European Union” the statement of the EU Foreign Ministers Council reads.

“The EU firmly condemns the violent attacks in Sudan on 3 June 2019, which resulted in the killing and injuring of many peaceful civilian protesters, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. It is clear that the responsibility lies with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) as the authority in charge of protecting the population. All human rights violations and abuses committed must be investigated in an independent and transparent manner, and perpetrators held accountable for their acts.

The EU calls for an immediate cessation of all violence against the Sudanese people, including extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary killings, beatings and sexual and gender-based violence, arrests and disappearances. It is the duty of the TMC to ensure the safety of all in Sudan. Members of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and other civilians that have been arrested and detained during recent events must be immediately released. Restrictions placed on freedom of assembly, freedom of the media, civic space and access to the internet must also be lifted.

The EU remains deeply concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan, and remains committed to help addressing the needs of the population. Obstacles to the timely delivery of the humanitarian assistance need to be removed immediately, including in Khartoum. Staff and supplies need to be brought in urgently to provide humanitarian assistance to more than 8 million people in need. Attacks against hospitals, medical staff and patients must stop. Respect of international humanitarian law and protection of civilians must be ensured, including safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

The EU supports the call of the African Union (AU) for the establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority. To that end, the EU calls for the immediate resumption of negotiations between the TMC and the FFC, based on agreements reached so far. The EU also calls on the TMC to implement the required confidence-building measures, on the FFC to respond accordingly, and on both parties to refrain from unilateral moves.

The EU supports the leadership role of the AU and the mediation efforts led by the AU envoy to help to move the political transition process forward, in cooperation with Ethiopia, IGAD Chair. The EU commends the role of Ethiopia in facilitating the resumption of the talks. The EU also commends the decision of the AU’s Peace and Security Council to suspend Sudan from participation in all AU activities until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transition authority, including the announcement that AU punitive measures would be applied if transition to such an authority is obstructed. The EU further calls on other regional and international actors to play a constructive and coordinated role in support of the leadership of the AU on this basis and stands ready to work with international partners in that regard.

The aspirations of the Sudanese people can only be met through an orderly, peaceful, inclusive and civilian-led transition that establishes the conditions for the return to constitutional order and democratic rule through transparent and credible elections, and full respect of human rights. The EU seizes this opportunity to recall the obligation of Sudan to cooperate with the International Criminal Court pursuant to the UNSC Resolution 1593.A civilian-led transitional authority is the only partner with which EU-Sudan relations can be normalised. When Sudan embarks on a transition to civilian rule, the EU looks forward to supporting the country in tackling the social, economic and political challenges and implementing the necessary reforms, and will provide assistance accordingly.”

The Foreign ministers Council today discussed the situation in Sudan and adopted the  statement above.

EU allocates €3.5 million to Ebola emergency

As the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo continues, with the first cases emerging in neighbouring Uganda this week, the EU has announced further emergency funding of €3.5 million, of which €2.5 million is for Uganda and €1 million for South Sudan. The aid package will strengthen rapid detection and reaction to Ebola cases. Today’s funding comes on top of the EU support for the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and prevention and preparedness actions in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis management and EU Ebola coordinator said: “We are doing all we can to save lives and stop further Ebola cases. Today, our main task is not only to help the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also assist neighbouring countries like Uganda. Here, our funding is helping with surveillance, work with local communities, and boosting local capacities for these countries to take timely and effective action. We are committed to continue our assistance to bring this outbreak to an end, for as long as it takes.”

In co-ordination with other international donors and in line with the World Health Organization’s Regional Strategic Ebola Response and Preparedness Plans, EU funding is contributing towards measures that include mainly:

  • the strengthening of disease surveillance at community level, health facilities and points of entry (border crossing points);
  • the training of rapid response teams;
  • the training of healthcare and frontline workers on contact-tracing, infection prevention and control measures, psychosocial support, and safe and dignified burials;
  • local capacity-building by equipping medical treatment facilities; and
  • community awareness-raising.

EU humanitarian health experts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and the region are coordinating the response and they are in daily contact with the health authorities in these countries, the World Health Organization and operational partners.

IncarNations: Kendell Geers in Bozar

IncarNations is an exhibition created by the South African artist Kendell Geers in dialogue with the Congolese collector Sindika Dokolo. A fascinating initiative that reflects the diversity of the African artistic heritage, from an Afrocentric point of view and including the itineraries of slaves, colonialism and independence movements.

@KendellGeers

@KendellGeers

“Ethnographic museums are a negation of art because they prevent the objects on display from really looking at us. Because ethnography is constituted, at its colonial origins, as a science of what is radically other, it is in its nature to fabricate strangeness, otherness, separateness“, the Senegalese philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne writes.

Taken from Sindika Dokolo‘s impressive collection, the works of African artists enter into dialogue with those of the diaspora while contemporary works will be displayed alongside classical works.

Incarnations looks at African art as a living philosophical practice.

Works by Sammy Baloji, William Kentridge, Tracey Rose, Wangechi Mutu, Otobong Nkanga, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Ana Mendieta, Kehinde Wiley, Andres Serrano, Aida Muluneh, Mwangi Hutter, Hank Willis Thomas, Tracey Rose, Adrian Piper, Lubaina Himid, Roger Ballen, Zanele Muholi, Phyllis Galembo and many others.

LOCATION:

BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts @BOZARBrussels

Guided Tours on request

Info: +32 2 507 83 36 – groups@bozar.be

 

 

 

#EDD: No One Behind!

This year’s European Development Days (EDD), Europe’s premier forum for international cooperation and development, will take place on 18 & 19 June 2019 in Brussels. The title of this year’s event is “Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind.”

The European Development Days (EDD) highlight Europe’s commitment to building a sustainable and fairer world. The forum builds on the core belief that cooperation is key to achieving real change towards a poverty-free and sustainable world where everyone has the prospect of a decent life. An essential aim is thus to inspire the desire to work together in a spirit of true partnership through facilitating networking.
This year the EDD will focus on promoting inclusiveness and equality as a catalyst for progress towards global sustainable development.
The EDD 2019 will examine and discuss the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the EU’s
commitment to addressing inequalities.
The EDD 2019 forum – addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind – will be structured around the three main themes: Why inequalities matter for sustainable development; understanding the structural causes of inequalities; Working better together through more effective policies to address inequalities; and the 5 “Ps” of the 2030 Agenda: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership.”

Everyone is given a voice in this open, collaborative and inclusive platform. Each year, the global development community is invited to contribute directly to the official EDD programme by proposing activities and sessions.
Each year, the forum attracts more than 8 000 participants from over 140 countries worldwide, representing 1 200 organisations from the development community.”

The forum fosters a true spirit of partnership with all development actors. Since its launch in 2006, the forum has been an incubator of new ideas to bring about real change towards a poverty-free, sustainable and fairer world, where everyone has the opportunity for a decent life.

Sudan’s Bashir on trial soon

Sudan’s chief prosecutor announced that ousted President Omar al-Bashir would be sent for trial soon on corruption charges related to his three decades in power.

Alwaleed Sayed Ahmed Mahmoud declared at news conference the trial referral would be made after a one-week period for objections expires, adding that criminal cases have been opened against 41 other former officials accused of graft.

Charged with corruption after an investigation was completed, as the prosecutor’s office underlined, Bashir, was ousted by the military in April this year following months of protests against his three decades autocratic rule.

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