Category Archives: Crisis

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.

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“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.”

MEPs condemn Egypt crackdown on protest

The European Parliament strongly condemns the latest state crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests, as well as the ongoing restrictions on fundamental rights in the country. Egyptian authorities have in the past weeks arbitrarily arrested over 4300 people who have been protesting against systemic corruption, repression and austerity measures, and have demanded the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The European Parliament strongly condemns the latest state crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests, as well as the ongoing restrictions on fundamental rights in the country. Egyptian authorities have in the past weeks arbitrarily arrested over 4300 people who have been protesting against systemic corruption, repression and austerity measures, and have demanded the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

MEPs call for an end to all acts of violence and intimidation, and the immediate release of all human rights defenders detained or sentenced for carrying out their legitimate work. They also express grave concern at the reprisals against those in Egypt who cooperate or seek to cooperate with international human rights organisations or the UN’s human rights bodies.

A profound review of the EU’s relations with Egypt is necessary, MEPs say. They argue that the human rights situation in the country requires a serious revision of the Commission’s budget support operations, which should be restricted to primarily support civil society. The full resolution, adopted by a show of hands, will be available here (24.10.2019).

MEPs call for an end to all acts of violence and intimidation, and the immediate release of all human rights defenders detained or sentenced for carrying out their legitimate work. They also express grave concern at the reprisals against those in Egypt who cooperate or seek to cooperate with international human rights organisations or the UN’s human rights bodies.

A profound review of the EU’s relations with Egypt is necessary, MEPs say. They argue that the human rights situation in the country requires a serious revision of the Commission’s budget support operations, which should be restricted to primarily support civil society. The full resolution, adopted by a show of hands, will be available here (24.10.2019).

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.

Tanzania repatriates 200th Burundians

Tanzania intends to deport up to 200,000 refugees from Burundi in coming months. Burundi agreed to the plan, but the UN’s refugee agency has objected, insisting on voluntary, but not forced returns.

Nearly 600 Burundian refugees were repatriated on October 3. They make up the first large group as part of a mass repatriation operation that began this week.

Nestor Bimenyimana, Burundi’s general manager for repatriation, said the refugees are returning voluntarily because the country’s security and political conditions have improved dramatically, less than a year before the country’s May 2020 presidential election.

The speaker for the Burundian Ministry of Public Security explained that only those Burundians denied asylum would be repatriated. His assistant said that some 15,000 such people are currently residing in Tanzania despite not having UNHCR refugee status: “Tanzania asked for the repatriation, and ministers from both countries agreed to register those individuals and repatriate them to Burundi. These are not Burundian refugees in Tanzania, but simply Burundians. They never had UNHCR refugee status, and they will be returned to Burundi.”

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DRC: Second Ebola vaccine in view

Health authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) informed that they plan to introduce a second Ebola vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, to counter the second-worst outbreak of the deadly virus.

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The team overseeing Congo’s Ebola response did not reveal when exactly the J&J vaccine would be employed. It will complement another vaccine manufactured by Merck, which has been administered to more than 225,000 people since August 2018. Unlikely fhe J&J vaccine requires two injections eight weeks apart, unlike the Merck product, which requires a single shot.

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According to the Congolese authorities, they will offer J&J vaccine to Congolese traders who cross into Rwanda and then to residents of the province neighbouring the epicentre of the outbreak to “create a corridor of immunised people”.

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Buhari to visit S.Africa amid crisis

Nigerian high commissioner is recalled and a special envoy will be send to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to address recent xenophobic attacks during urban violence outbreaks, said Information Minister Lai Mohammed at a press briefing in Abuja.

South Africa has already temporarily closed its diplomatic missions to Nigeria in Lagos and Abuja fearing reprisal attacks against its citizens, according to CNN.

The closures follow outbreaks of violence earlier this week in South Africa. At least five people were killed and 189 arrested during xenophobic attacks and looting in Johannesburg, Pretoria and elsewhere. Foreign nationals from countries including NigeriaZambia, Kenya, Ethiopia were targeted.

In spite of the violence outbreak South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirmed the bilateral relations  as “firm and strong” and added that the two partners  were resolute in their shared commitment to build an Africa at peace with itself and others.

The statement came amid the deteriorating diplomatic relations between the two African countries, after Nigeria introduced plans to evacuate its nationals in South Africa following a wave of xenophobic attacks.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to visit South Africa in next month to “reinforce strong bonds”, following the attacks against West Africans.

 

South Africa urban violence outbreak

South African police  have arrested dozens of people in Johannesburg on September 2 after rioters looted shops, burned tyres and blocked road junctions – the second outbreak of urban rioting in a week. (Image: Johannesburg).

Police had no answer what exactly had triggered the violence, however it is generally considered that the social context has deteriorated: unemployment at close to 30%, widespread poverty and income disparities have all been blamed for recent outbreaks and attacks on immigrants.

Last week, hundreds of protesters in the administrative capital Pretoria set fire to buildings, looted mostly foreign-owned businesses and clashed with police, who started to fire rubber bullets at the crowds in attempt to stop further devastation.

Taxi drivers issued an alert to commuters asking them to avoid Pretoria downtown.

However, Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said Nigerian shops had been targeted by “mindless criminals” and promised to take “definitive measures“.

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