International outcry to stop hippos cull in Zambia

Zambian authorities face international pressure to reconsider their decision to overturn the  2016 decision on suspension of  the brutal culling of up to 2,000 hippos in the world-famous Luangwa Valley over the next five years. The cull is once again being promoted to trophy hunters as a prey, this time by the South African hunting outfitter Umlilo Safaris.

Wildlife charity, Born Free, who led efforts to stop the slaughter in 2016, is calling for the authorities to urgently re-consider and cancel this barbaric agreement that only benefits private safari hunting companies and trophy hunters, while cause long-term damage to nature, and local communities, who could enjoy benefits of developing of wildlife tourism.

Born Free President, Will Travers OBE, stated: “Our sources reveal that the government has moved swiftly to reinstate the cull, perhaps hoping this would go unnoticed. Far from it! They are, apparently, using the same flawed rational for the slaughter as last time – a preventative measure to avoid a future outbreak of anthrax, combined with an assertion that low rainfall will exacerbate the situation.”

“They also appear not to have informed key stakeholders in the Luangwa Valley, including the Luangwa Safari Association and the District Commissioner. The negative consequences for thousands of hippo and Zambia’s reputation as a wildlife tourism destination – the proposed cull site can be seen from the internationally renowned Chichele Lodge – cannot be underestimated”, the statement concludes.

There is a general disbelief that the official motives of the decision to allow massive culling of animals is genuine, there is no other opinion among the biologists, and conservationists about the anthrax disease being a fig  leaf to disguise private hunting companies interest to gain swift profits at cost of devastating future of local communities, destroying their chances to promote a sustainable wildlife tourism.

The authorities had neither provided evidence demonstrating that there is an overpopulation of hippos in the Luangwa River nor proof such a hippo cull of healthy animals would prevent a future outbreak of anthrax, Travers continued. He also added that wild hippo numbers across Africa are under increasingly pressure with a maximum estimate of just 130,000 animals – about one-third of the number of the high-profile African elephant.

Furthermore, as efforts increase to end the trade in elephant ivory, hippos are being increasingly targeted for their ivory as a replacement. Latest data confirms that in the decade to 2016, more than 6,000 hippo teeth, 2,048 hippo tusks and a further 1,183 hippo ‘trophies’ were exported to EU Member States alongside thousands of other ‘parts and products’. International trade records show that from 2004-2014 around 60,000 kg of hippo ivory were imported into Hong Kong.

Anthrax is a life-threatening infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis that normally affects animals, especially ruminants such as goats, cattle, sheep, and horses. Anthrax can be transmitted to humans by contact with infected animals or their products.

Hippo calf

EU-Africa beyond Cotonou agreement

The Council of EU foreign ministers is expected to discuss the negotiating mandate for the future agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Cotonou Agreement, will expire in February 2020.

Foreign ministers had an initial discussion during January’s Foreign Affairs Council. Development ministers had a discussion on 22 May 2018.

The Cotonou Agreement is the overarching framework for EU relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It was adopted in 2000 to replace the 1975 Lomé Convention.

It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU, covering the EU’s relations with 79 countries, including 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Cotonou Agreement aims to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty and contribute to the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy. It is based on three pillars: development cooperation; economic and trade cooperation; political dimension.

The Cotonou agreement will expire in February 2020. Work has begun on the EU side to lay the groundwork for the future partnership with the ACP countries. The current agreement provides for the opening of negotiations by the end of August 2018 at the latest.nIn light of this, the Council is expected to adopt a decision in the first semester of 2018 on the authorisation to open negotiations and the negotiating directives.

Congo future elections in EU focus

The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following up on the Council conclusions of 11 December 2017 and in view of the foreseen elections at the end of the year.

On 11 December the Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo following the announcement, on 5 November, of an electoral calendar.

The conclusions stress that it is fundamental, in particular for the legitimacy of the institutions in charge of the transition, to guarantee that the election date, now set for 23 December 2018, is respected.

EU launches €400 million aid programmes for Africa

African Union and European Union Commissioners adopted concrete measures to address pressing global issues in key areas such as peace and security, migration, job creation and agriculture.

This 9th Commission to Commission meeting of the two organisations was co-chaired by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, with the participation of all African Union Commissioners and 16 European Union Commissioners.

The two sides had agreed on a set of priorities at the November 2017 AU-EU Summit in Abidjan and today the two Commissions took stock of progress made to chart the way forward.

“We met today to translate words into concrete action. We launched programmes worth €400 million to support, amongst others, African youth – which is all the more important, as 60% of Africa’s population is under 25 years old, – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.  “The future of the world depends on the good cooperation between Europe and Africa”.

African youth

Multilateralism is the only response to today’s global challenges in an increasingly polarised world. The AU-EU partnership is based on shared values and shared responsibilities and offers a unique platform to address common challenges linked to peace, security and sustainable development on both our continents” – African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat added.

The two commissions discussed their cooperation to enhance resilience, peace, security and governance, including support to African peace initiatives such as the G5 Sahel joint force. In this regard, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding reinforcing the existing cooperation in the area of peace and security. In addition, they agreed to continue and consolidate the important work made by the AU-EU-UN task force on migration.

The parties committed to invest in economies and people by stepping up existing cooperation on agriculture and agribusinesses and the digital economy, and dedicated themselves to continue the active engagement with youth in the Africa-EU partnership in innovative and meaningful ways.

In the context of the AU-EU partnership, the EU made available an additional €400 million towards continental and regional projects. These include support to institutional capacity building of the African Union Commission and regional integration on the continent, as well as support to young people. The assistance will facilitate the continental mobility of young people, for example through reinforcing exchange programmes among African universities, and enhancing the recognition of qualifications and the harmonisation of higher education in Africa.

The EU and Africa have progressively built a solid strategic and political partnership, whereby they go beyond donor-recipient relations towards reciprocal commitments. The two Commissions of the European Union and African Union are committed to be active players and real engines of this Partnership, which is today more relevant than ever in a fast evolving global environment.

This partnership is based on shared values and interests, enshrined in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES, 2007). At the 5th AU-EU Summit last November African and European leaders have demonstrated their mutual commitment in a stronger relationship adapted to a rapidly changing global landscape, and have identified strategic priorities for 2018-2020.

Outbreak of cholera in Nigeria

A cholera outbreak has killed 12 people and may have infected at least 134 others in the northeast Nigerian state of Adamawa, an official said on Wednesday (23/05/2018).

So far 12 people have died from the disease and there are many more cases”, said Ezra Sakawa, medical director of the general hospital for Mubi, the town where the disease has struck.

We have little manpower to deal with an outbreak of such magnitude,” Sakawa said, adding that nurses were on strike.

EU calls for trainee for Lesotho

Are you a young graduate interested in international relations? Are you curious to learn more about work in a diplomatic mission and how an EU Delegation represents EU interests and values in the Kingdom of Lesotho?

What we offer

We are offering a traineeship of 6 months within the political and economic sections of the EU Delegation to Lesotho. Each selected trainee will receive a monthly stipend/grant for basic living expenses for the duration of the traineeship.

Main tasks

  • Information gathering on political, social, and socio-economic developments and assisting in the analysis of political and socio-political dynamics of the Kingdom of Lesotho; assist in the preparation of reports on such developments and dynamics.
  • Assist in the preparations for, and reporting of meetings with economic actors and the business community of Lesotho, in the context of initiatives taken by the Delegation to promote job creation, economic growth, and a better use of the opportunities offered by the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and SADC.
  • Assist in the organization of public events of the Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Eligibility

The traineeship is open to nationals of Lesotho and the EU who: have a degree or diploma from an accredited tertiary institution, who do not have more than 1 year’s work experience and have no previous experience working in EU Institutions (longer than 6 weeks).

Before applying you are requested to examine the general eligibility criteria for traineeships (Article 8 of the Decision ADMIN (2017) 28 – Paid traineeship for young graduates).

How to apply

Send a detailed curriculum vitae and a motivational letter by 15 June 2018 to the following email address: delegation-lesotho-hoa@eeas.europa.eu.

Applications from non-eligible candidates will not be considered. After the evaluation of all applications, shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for an interview. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email. In case the selected candidate is not able to present the required documents, his/her candidacy will be rejected.

 

Policeman killed in Ouagadougou in counterterrorist raid

Burkina Faso security forces neutralised three suspected terrorists and arrested one more on Tuesday (22/05/2017) morning in an operation on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou, state television reported.

One policeman was killed in the fighting in the Rayongo neighborhood, while five people, including one civilian, were injured, the report said.

Burkinian media reports the seizure of weapons, including explosives, while raiding the house of the presumed terrorist group.

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