Author Archives: Europe correspondent

Zuma to be charged with corruption

The South African chief prosecutor Shaun Abrahams announced the state will reinstate fraud and corruption charges against former President Jacob Zuma for the case relating to a 30 billion rand ($2.5 billion) arms deal in the late 1990s.

The decision follows the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal which set aside the 2009 decision to withdraw the case against the former President.

A team of five senior state prosecutors spent four weeks studying Zuma’s reasons if there are sufficient grounds to pursue him, after submitting the information at the end of January.

Abrahams announced two weeks ago that he had received a recommendation from the team and was ready to make the announcement, which is made public on 16th of March.

Farm murders in South Africa continue

The Free State community of Vredefort, South Africa, has been left devastated after a farm murder claimed the life of 71-year-old Dirk Steenkamp (pictured).

As reported by OFM, Steenkamp was attacked at 07:00 on Sunday morning (4.03.2018) when he was inspecting a water pump near his property. A gang attacked him after driving to the farm and proceeded to shoot him.

Steenkamp’s wife raised the alarm shortly after hearing the gunshots, as the attackers fled. She was left unharmed in the incident.

The brutal crime has raised again the issue of farm murders in South Africa.

“The political parties in¬†South Africa¬†have demonstrated their incompetence and absenteeism over the past decades. Of course, the¬†ANC¬†was the dominant factor, but the so-called moderate¬†Democratic Alliance (DA) and the¬†Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)¬†of¬†Malema¬†are no better and bear co-responsibility for the failure of the¬†‚ÄėRainbow nation” –¬†said¬† Gerolf Annemans, the president of a Movement for Nations and Freedom (MENF).

“Some, including myself, dare to call it a silent genocide” – Annemans continued, while commenting on the situation with farm murders in South Africa. On¬†day 66 of 2018 there have been more than 84 and 11 murders.


Poachers poison vultures in Mozambique

In Mozambique in just two years poachers killed nearly 150 hippos, and other protected species.

A total of 144 hippos, 111 buffalo, 54 elephants, four crocodiles and two lions – were killed between 2015 and 2016 in a small part of Tete province.

Dozens of monkeys, warthogs and antelopes were also victims to poaching.

Sadly, the numbers could be even higher, because at present poaching is reduced in the area thanks to wardens working with the Tchuma Tchato community wildlife management programme.


They went out on about 3,000 patrols during the period, intercepting 260 poachers, including Mozambicans, Zimbabweans and Zambians.

During the anti-poaching operation wardens seized 13 automatic weapons, 154 artisanal firearms, 16 spears, 34 axes, and more than 3,200 snares of various types, along with other items, like poison.


EU Defence ministers examine training in Africa

The EU Council reviews the training missions deployed in Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia. It is be the opportunity to review the functioning of the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC). Established in June 2017, the MPCC oversees EU training missions

MEPs discuss slave trade in Libya

The mistreatment of migrants and refugees in Libya, and arrangements for their resettlement or return, are debated with UNHCR in the European Parliament on Monday, 5/03/2018.

The ways to end the mistreatment of migrants and refugees stranded in Libya, the point of departure of up to 90% of people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, will be discussed by Civil Liberties Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs, members of the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries and UNHCR, Commission and External Action Service representatives.

Following several media reports that migrants have fallen victim to the slave trade in Libya, the EU and the African Union, together with the UN, agreed in November 2017 to set up a joint Task Force to save and protect lives along the African migration routes and in particular inside Libya, accelerating assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin, and the resettlement of those in need of international protection.

Fighting smuggling and easing returns to countries of origin are EU priorities.

Libya’s Sharara oil field interrupted extraction

Libya’s Sharara oil field stopped extracting crude oil several days after output plunged at another of the OPEC member’s biggest deposits.

 The halt resulted from the closing of a pipeline from Sharara to the Zawiya refinery, according to experts opinion. Sharara stopped production on Sunday (4/03/2018), according to Maghrebin sources. Libya had been pumping 1.1 million barrels a day as of March 1, with Sharara contributing 300,000 of that. The field is run by a joint venture between the National Oil Corp. and Repsol SA, Total SA, OMV AG and Statoil ASA.

#BigCats: EU keeps an eye on endangered spieces

This year the European Commission celebrate on It has taken action and joined up efforts with to fight trafficking of endangered species in the EU and globally.

The EU has already confirmed its leadership in tackling the illegal trade in natural resources by adopting ambitious policies on timber and fishery products. This EU Action Plan demonstrates that the EU is ready to live up to international expectations and commitments, and that it is raising the level of its ambition as regards action against the illegal trade in wildlife. The bloc will also help to ensure that the significant investments made over the last decades through EU development support for wildlife conservation worldwide will not be undermined through criminal activities.

Wildlife trafficking has a devastating impact on biodiversity, threatening to eradicate some species. Moreover, it both creates incentives for corrupt practices and is enabled by them, thereby undermining the rule of law. Notably in some regions in Africa, it has a very negative impact on the potential for economic development.

Wildlife trafficking is very attractive to criminals, as it is highly lucrative and, in most countries it has lower enforcement priority by comparison with other forms of trafficking, so the risk of detection and penalties is very limited. Links with money laundering and other forms of organised crime, such as trafficking in drugs and firearms, have been regularly reported . The UN Security Council has acknowledged that wildlife trafficking in Central Africa is fuelling conflicts and threatening regional and national security by providing a source of funding to militia groups.


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