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.
Yesterday, the MINUSMA peacekeepers in Mali were again under attack, causing casualties and injuries. The day before, the Malian armed forces also lost men in the center of the country.
These attacks against the peacekeeping forces and the protection of the citizens of Mali against terrorism are aimed at preventing peace in Mali.
The EU extends its condolences to the families of the victims, the Government of Mali and the United Nation, and wishes a speedy recovery of the injured.
The European Union also remains firmly committed, together with the international community, to supporting the efforts of the Sahel G5 countries in the fight against terrorism and for peace, security and development in the region, as reaffirmed on 23 February by representatives of more than 60 countries and international organizations during the International High Level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council on defence, 06/03/2018 will review the bloc training missions deployed in Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia. It will be the opportunity to take a stock of the functioning of the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC). Established in June 2017, the MPCC oversees EU training missions.
On 8 June 2017, the Council adopted the decision establishing of the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC) within the EU military staff (EUMS). The terms of reference of the EUMS, which is part of the European External Action Service, have been amended and approved.
The MPCC will assume command of EU non-executive military missions, currently: EU Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia, EUTM République Centrale Africaine (RCA) and EUTM Mali. The MPCC will be the static, out-of-area command and control structure at the military strategic level, responsible for the operational planning and conduct of non-executive missions, including the building up, launching, sustaining and recovery of European Union forces. This will allow the mission staff in the field to concentrate on the specific activities of their mission, with better support provided from Brussels.
The MPCC improves the crisis management structures of the EU. It will work under the political control and strategic guidance of the Political and Security Committee (PSC), which is composed of EU member states’ ambassadors and is based in Brussels.
Mali was once again the target of terrorist violence. Nearly 30 Malian and Burkinabe citizens, including several women and children, were killed on their way to Boni fair in the center of the country. On the same day, several attacks against the Malian security forces cost the lives of several people.
“The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and reiterates its solidarity with the peoples of Mali and Burkina Faso. We remain firmly committed to supporting the efforts of Mali and G5 Sahel in the fight against the terrorist threat and in the stabilization of the Sahel”- says the text of the statement of the European External Action Service, commenting on the terrorist act in Mali.
Image: illustration – Mali women
The violence perpetrated on 31 December 2017 at New Year’s Eve in the Democratic Republic of Congo, resulted in deaths of a several demonstrators and left many wounded. Security forces killed at least seven people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during protests against President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down from office, United Nations peacekeepers said.
“The use of violence by the Congolese authorities, including the interruption of religious services, aimed at suppressing any attempt at peaceful protest is contrary to the Congolese Constitution, which guarantees the right of demonstration and freedom of assembly” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
“Blocking media and social networks is also a serious violation of freedom of expression” – the EEAS statement continues.
“The EU extends its condolences to the families of the victims. It supports the call by MONUSCO / UNJHRO to condemn arbitrary arrests and calls for the immediate release of detainees, including some religious.”
“The Congolese authorities have a duty to protect their citizens and not to repress them. They must redouble their efforts to fully implement the relaxation of the New Year’s Eve Agreement, thus making progress towards credible elections in 2018. The EU will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Reportedly security forces killed at least seven people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday during protests against President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down from office, United Nations peacekeepers said.
A police spokesman confirmed three people had been killed in altercations with security forces in Kinshasa, and that two of the deaths were investigated.
Catholic activists had called for protests in the capital after Sunday worship, one year after Kabila committed to holding an election to choose his successor by the end of 2017 – an election that has now been delayed for one year until December 2018.
The break of the promise, reflected in a delay has caused suspicions that Kabila will attempt to change constitution to justify his longer stay in a similar way to presidents in neighboring countries. The perspective has raised fears of turmoil or even of civil war.
Florence Marchal, spokeswoman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, said security forces had shot dead at least seven people in Kinshasa. Another person was killed in a protest in the central city of Kananga, she said, although the cause of death was not yet clear.
U.N. observers documented at least 123 arrests across the country and a number of serious injuries so far.
L’Union européenne salue les nouvelles dispositions inclues dans le nouveau code pénal tchadien telles que l’interdiction du mariage pour les enfants, des mutilations génitales féminines, la pénalisation de l’esclavage et de la traite des personnes, ainsi que la définition de la torture, du génocide, des crimes de guerre et des crimes contre l’humanité comme actes punissables par la loi.
Elle rappelle que la pénalisation des relations homosexuelles prévue dans le code pénal contredit les engagements internationaux du gouvernement tchadien en matière de droits humains.
L’UE souligne l’importance de toutes mesures prises par le Tchad pour renforcer l’égalité devant la loi et la non-discrimination, conformément aux conventions internationales, notamment la Charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples, auxquels le pays adhère.
L’UE est prête à poursuivre le dialogue avec les autorités tchadiennes à cette fin.
(Déclaration du Porte-parole relative à l’entrée en vigueur du nouveau Code Pénal du Tchad).