Category Archives: Conflict

EU continues to support UN efforts in Libya

“An airstrike yesterday hit a biscuit factory in Tripoli’s Wadi Rabea neighbourhood causing again civilian casualties. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to those injured” reads the statement of the European External Actions Service spokesperson.

“The International Law, including the International Humanitarian Law, must be fully respected and those who violate it held accountable. It is urgent to take up all measures needed to properly protect civilians.

“This, like previous similar attacks targeting civilian areas in and around Tripoli, shows the urgency of the political solution and remind us that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis. All parties must immediately stop the violence and return to a political process under the UN mediation.

“To this end, the European Union will continue to support the work of the UN Special Representative to relaunch the political process. The Berlin initiative is an opportunity to end the conflict addressing the issues driving the conflict and charting a way forward towards peace, reconciliation and stability.”

EU for «inclusive government» in South Sudan

The ongoing contacts by the heads of state of the region to bring together President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar to enable the formation of a Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan, scheduled for 12 November, are positive. A functioning inclusive government is what the citizens of South Sudan expect and south Sudan’s neighbours need.

In line with the UN Security Council Press Statement 6 November, all the South Sudanese parties must now honour their commitments and demonstrate genuine will to build peace in the country. The composition of the Revitalised Transitional Government must respect the provisions of the peace agreement which provides for inclusion of all signatory parties.

“Realistic and sustainable arrangements and deadlines must be set for the immediate implementation of the outstanding pre-transitional tasks, in particular those crucial to prevent a return to violence, such as the security arrangements and the agreement on the number and boundaries of states. The government’s financial commitments to enable the implementation of these tasks must be honoured.

https://twitter.com/eyeonthehorn/status/1192447131463933952?s=21

“It is crucial that all the parties publicly reaffirm their commitment to full compliance with the cessation of hostilities agreement of December 2017. Leaders need to strengthen mutual trust and engage in good faith in the reconciliation process. 

“Once the parties demonstrate that their commitment to peace is irreversible, the European Union will be ready to provide further support in the implementation of all the chapters of the peace agreement.”

Tripoli GNA obstructs Europarl debate

Anna van Densky from Brussels. As a result of the considerable diplomatic effort of the Government of National Accord (GNA, Tripoli) mission in Brussels, the public event with H.E.Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Libyan Interim government Abdulhadi Ibrahim Lahweej (pictured) posted by MEP Fulvio Martusciello (EPP, Italy), has been occluded. The Italian MEP initiate has been aimed at engaging in conversation with the Libyan top diplomat in search of avenues for peace in torn by conflict country, supporting efforts of establishing the meaningful dialog among rivals for political power.

However the GNA obstruction of the dialogue, reaching European Parliament premises in Brussels, opposing exchange of views between the MEP with the Minister, casts a long shadow on Tripoli administration, conforming the worst assessments of the experts, claiming the situation has degenerated. and the capital is overpowered by Muslim Brotherhood militia, imposing their ambition on Fayez Al-Sarraj, dabbed their “hostage“. The protracted devastating for the Libyans conflict serves primary the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, considered by the Libyan parliament as terrorist group, and subsequently the major obstacle to reconciliation and peace. (Image below: sign against Muslim Brotherhood in streets of Tripoli).

Te rejection of the dialogue between rival Libyan political centre undermines the position of the EU, so far supporting Chairman Fayez Al Sarraj, howerver this support by no means is la carte blanche for Tripoli administration policies and actions. The blunt rejection of the attempts to establish a dialogue is seen by experts and the opponents of al-Sarraj as his ultimate submission to Muslim Brotherhood influences, which further degrade Libyan statehood, depriving it of avenues for restoration.

The de-constructive position of GNA is also raising questions of viability of future conference on Libya proposed by the German diplomacy. But not only, because peace in Libya is essential for stability and security in Maghreb and Sahel.

Since overthrowing of Gaddaif regime, the terrorist threat in Maghreb has risen 300 percent, with a dramatic impact on sub-Saharan Africa, namely Sahel, where the EU along with France and Germany supports G5 – five nations alliance, fighting terrorism. The future head of the European diplomacy Josep Borrell has been atmost clear when stating that peace in Libya is key element for security and stability of Europe.

The dictatorial impulses of Al-Sarraj administration, establishing their power through exclusion of the political opponents, and occluding debate, as it happened in case of MEP Martusciello initiative, serve as the convincing evidence of growing influence of Muslim Brotherhood in Tripoli. which further degrades Libyan statehood, depriving it of avenues for revival.

AMENDEMENT: image on display Minister Lahweej at European Parliament, Brussels, 15 October 2019, @AlexandreLouvet.

Security situation in Burkina Faso

Over the past months, we have seen a continued and dramatic deterioration of the security situation in Burkina Faso. I would like to start by expressing our solidarity with the people of Burkina. More than 200 people were killed so far in 2019, including 60 victims in the last month” said Tytti TUPPURAINEN (pictured), Finnish Presidency, in the speech on behalf of High Representative Federica Mogherini at the European Parliament September Strasbourg plenary debate on the security situation in Burkina Faso. (16/09/2019).

“This insecurity climate puts more pressure on already overstretched social servicesThe number of internally displaced persons is now reaching 300,000 people, posing a serious challenge to the delivery of food, health or sanitation services, but also in terms of social cohesion.

The jihadist groups are now targeting both security forces and civilians, with a clear strategy to foster local antagonisms and create a circle of vengeance between different communities. They are trying to incite a war of religion, in a country that has a long history of peaceful coexistence between faiths and communities.

“The European Union is today closer than ever to the people of Burkina Faso. The country is currently at the heart of our action in the Sahel. In the last seven years we have mobilised more than one billion euros for development programs in Burkina.

“High Representative [of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica] Mogherini was in Ouagadougou over the summer, on the occasion of the fifth annual Ministerial meeting between the EU and the G5 Sahel. During the meeting, she announced an extra €138 million in support the Joint military force of the G5 Sahel, which has an important role in fighting terrorism and organised crime across the region.

“Our military and civilian missions in the Sahel are also working more and more across the region, alongside with French operation Barkhane.

“Coordination between security and development policies is one of the essential challenges, and this was one of the main messages that the High Representative [Federica Mogherini] delivered during her visit.

“We are glad that the G5 countries have committed to adopting an Integrated Strategic Framework, precisely to synchronise their efforts on security and on development and to identify priority regions for their action.

“The government of Burkina has also extended the emergency plan for the Sahel to its eastern regions, which is a positive development.

During her visit Ms Mogherini called for urgent progress on security sector reform. The fight against terrorism can only bear fruit if security forces respect the rule of law and human rights. This is the only way to build trust between State authorities and all sectors of the population.

“The recent national dialogue is an important building block for national cohesion. It is crucial that all ethnic communities in Burkina feel that they are part of a common national family. As the terrorist foster hatred and inter-ethnic tensions, the State should push in the opposite direction and invest in a shared sense of belonging for all its citizens.

“Security is vital, but it is not the only answer to the challenges that the country is facing. Linking political, security and development issues will be more and more essential. Let me just mention that, during her trip to Burkina, the High Representative also visited an EU-funded school â€“ because education is the foundation of any country’s strength.

“International coordination is also crucial, and the EU is willing to engage even more with the whole region. This is the reason why we took the opportunity of the ECOWAS extraordinary summit on terrorism in Ouagadougou last Saturday to discuss with countries of the wider region how they can contribute more to contrast terrorism and how we can coordinate our respective actions.

“Since 2015, a peaceful country like Burkina Faso has had to face unprecedented violence. We Europeans have stepped up our support to stop this escalation, to stabilise a crucial region for our own security, and to help the people of the Sahel take their future into their hands. We will continue to be a strong partner for Burkina and for its people”

(Link to the concluding remarks https://europa.eu/!Tp64DB)

 

IS claims Burkina Faso deadly attack

The Islamic State affiliated group has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Burkinabé  military leaving 24 dead. FRANCE 24 TV Channel expert Wassim Nasr says the claim is credible and that the attack shows how IS group has expanded its reach in northern Burkina Faso. (Image: illustration).

The August 20 attack on a military post in the north-eastern village of Koutougou killed 24 soldiers. By claiming responsibility for this attack, IS group has demonstrated its capacity to strike in areas where al Qaeda tends to be active.

Burkina Faso’s military said 24 soldiers were killed and seven others injured on August 19 in a “major attack by armed terrorist groups” in the Koutougou department of Soum province in the northern Sahel bordering Mali.

UN staff killed in explosion

“The U.N. does not intend to evacuate from Libya,” the assistant secretary-general for peace operations, Bintou Keita, told the UN Security Council, which condemned the recent attack in Benghazi, Libya.

A car bomb explosion in Benghazi killed three U.N. staff members and two other mission members on, the United Nations said.The attack came as the United Nations was negotiating a truce in the capital Tripoli, where the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) force launched an military operation in April.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, a spokesman said in a statement. 

The United Nations gave no further details, indicating some of its casualties had been members working in Benghazi, the. LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari told press two of those killed were guards with the U.N. Libya mission, and 10 people had been wounded, including young children.

The explosion happened in front of a crowded shopping mall and bank. One burned-out U.N. car could be seen in the street.

Around the time of the blast, LNA commander Khalifa Haftar announced a halt to military operations for 48 hours during the Muslim Eid al-Adha celebrations, which started on July 10.

Before the weekend, the government in Tripoli confirmed that they had already accepted a U.N. proposal for a ceasefire during the holiday.

Libya: dozens killed in Murzuq airstrike

More than 30 individuals have been killed in an air strike on the southern Libyan oasis town of Murzuq in the historic region of Fezzan, populated mostly by Dawada people, but also by Tuareg. (Image above: illustration).

Eastern Libyan (historicaly region of Cirenaica) forces under the leadership  of Marshall Khalifa Haftar confirmed an assault on August 4, but denied any responsibility for the death of civilians.

Despite expected movement  for unity among the Tuareg and other southern Libyan minorities, at present the situation in Fezzan  stays fragile, and the future of the province remains obscure.

In reality Fezzan is unstable in absence of unity among Tuareg communities vis-à-vis the events in Tripoli. The Tuareg are hugely disappointed with the results of the regime change, which did not fulfill any from the multiple promises made by the West.

Population of Fezzan is plagued by lack of basic healthcare, access to water, education and jobs – all resulting in low living standards, depression and crime. The infrastructures, including developed by state electric grids erected during Colonel Gaddafi rule, have dilapidated without maintenance, and are out of use, and there no opportunities to restore them until the conflict is ravaging Libya.
Many men left Fezzan to join different battling militant groups in search for earnings.

Both Fayez Al Sarraj in Tripoli, and Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi are struggling  for alliance with different tribes in Fezzan: Tuareg and Toubou (Teda and Dazagra). 

Like the supported by the West government of  Al-Sarraj, Haftar has equally alliances among Tuareg, multiplying promises.

For Europe significance of Fezzan has risen dramatically  after  Libyan state collapse, which left southern borders unattended, and opened a broad gate for illegal migration from from the Sahel to Mediterranean coast – the so called sub-Saharan migrant route.

AMENDED:

“Indiscriminate attacks on densely populated residential areas may amount to war crimes and must cease immediately. As High Representative / Vice-President Mogherini stated on behalf of the EU on 2 August, those committing war crimes and those breaching International Humanitarian Law must be brought to justice and held to account” the European External Action Service reacted on Murzuq attack on its official Twitter account.

« Older Entries