Luxembourg, 19.06.2017. Today, the Council adopted conclusions on Mali and the Sahel recalling its strong integrated approach towards achieving stabilisation of the region. This approach includes full range of relevant instruments in the field of diplomacy, long-term development cooperation, support to human rights, stabilisation efforts, resilience building, humanitarian assistance, migration management and security, including CSDP missions.
The Council strongly condemns yesterday’s terrorist attack in Bamako.
The Council reiterates its full support to the implementation of the Malian Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, with full involvement of civil society, women and youth, as the only way to restore peace and security in the country. The High Representative’s participation on 5 June 2017 to the Comité de suivi de l’accord de paix (CSA) in Bamako confirms the strong commitment of the EU to the agreement. The EU also encourages an enhanced engagement of the G5 Sahel countries in the Malian peace process.
The EU commends the political leadership of the G5 Sahel countries, ECOWAS and the African Union in their efforts to support regional security, development and reconciliation. The EU welcomes the initiative of the Heads of State of the G5 Sahel on the establishment of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The EU has been the first to announce a financial contribution, with EUR 50 million as planned support to this initiative.
Thousands of Rwandans living in Belgium and Europe assembled in Brussels on Saturday to meet with President Kagame for Rwandan Diaspora community engagement, #RwandaDay.
“The EU closely follows the human rights situation in Sudan” – says the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.
“The recent presidential pardon of two pastors in Sudan is an encouraging step regarding religious freedom in the country. Jan Figel, the Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU, was able to meet with human rights defender Dr Ibrahim Mudawi in his place of detention in March 2017, yet the length of detention and delays in due process remain a source of concern. The EU supports the recent call by UN Independent Expert, Aristide Nononsi, for the immediate release of Dr Mudawi and of Hafiz Idris, another human rights defender.”
“Despite progress in the national dialogue, space for civil society is shrinking in Sudan, as demonstrated by delays in registration of NGOs, and the arrest, detention and court cases of human rights defenders. All human rights defenders need to be able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities openly, free of restrictions and without fear of reprisals.”
The Council has adopted restrictive measures against 9 individuals who hold positions of responsibility in the State administration and in the chain of command of the security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with immediate effect. They join the 7 people on whom the EU imposed sanctions as of 12 December 2016 in response to the obstruction of the electoral process and related human rights violations.
The European Union remains seriously concerned by the deterioration of the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), – says the text of the EU declaration on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“The crisis in Kasai Province has reached an exceptional level in security and humanitarian terms and as regards human rights. While strongly condemning all acts of violence irrespective of their origin, the EU is concerned about reports of disproportionate use of force by State bodies, especially the security forces, in managing the crisis. It urges the DRC authorities to act in compliance with human rights and fundamental freedoms and to initiate, without delay, credible and transparent investigations, flanked by high-level international expertise to enhance their credibility and independence, to identify those responsible for acts of violence and massacres. It stresses the need for MONUSCO to be able to exercise its mandate in full and for humanitarian access to the areas affected by the crisis to be guaranteed.”
“The EU also remains concerned by the continuing restrictions on the democratic space and fundamental rights, including restrictions on the media and the prohibition of demonstrations.”
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila on named a new transitional government, state television reported, defying opponents who rejected the cabinet, saying it violated a previous agreement.
Kabila, in power since 2001, struck a deal in December 2016 with Congo’s main opposition bloc to stay on after his mandate expired provided he held elections by the end of 2017. But talks to implement the deal broke down in March when Kabila refused to commit to the bloc’s choice of prime minister.
“La chambre africaine extraordinaire d’assises d’appel a confirmé la peine d’emprisonnement à perpétuité pour des crimes contre l’humanité, crimes de guerre et torture infligée par la Chambre africaine extraordinaire d’assises à l’ancien Président tchadien, Hissène Habré, le 30 mai 2016,” – a dit la Déclaration du porte-parole SEAE sur la décision de la Chambre africaine extraordinaire d’assises d’appel dans le cadre du procès d’Hissène Habré.
“Ce verdict en appel termine de manière définitive un procès historique, qui constitue un précédent important pour la justice internationale et la lutte contre l’impunité en Afrique mais aussi dans le monde.”
“Les autorités sénégalaises ont montré une réelle détermination pour mener à bien ce procès, de même que les associations des familles de victimes et Human Rights Watch.”
“L’UE a constamment soutenu et contribué, aux côtés de l’Union Africaine, du Sénégal et du Tchad, à la tenue de ce procès.”