Category Archives: Crisis

MEPs discuss slave trade in Libya

The mistreatment of migrants and refugees in Libya, and arrangements for their resettlement or return, are debated with UNHCR in the European Parliament on Monday, 5/03/2018.

The ways to end the mistreatment of migrants and refugees stranded in Libya, the point of departure of up to 90% of people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, will be discussed by Civil Liberties Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs, members of the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries and UNHCR, Commission and External Action Service representatives.

Following several media reports that migrants have fallen victim to the slave trade in Libya, the EU and the African Union, together with the UN, agreed in November 2017 to set up a joint Task Force to save and protect lives along the African migration routes and in particular inside Libya, accelerating assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin, and the resettlement of those in need of international protection.

Fighting smuggling and easing returns to countries of origin are EU priorities.

Guinea Bissau on brink of chaos

“The critical political situation in Guinea Bissau is putting at risk its institutional and democratic order, with serious implications for the stability in the region.”

“The EU has always acted in close coordination with the other members of the P5 group – the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS), the Community of Portuguese Language Countries – to promote a peaceful solution. The EU supports the conclusion of the recent ECOWAS Ministerial mission to Bissau, including the need to hold those responsible for impeding the implementation of the Conakry agreement. The EU shares the concern of the region for the deterioration of the human rights situation, especially regarding the political rights.”

“In view of the fragility of the security situation all stakeholders must refrain from any action outside of the constitutional order and rule of law which may lead to further instability. The security forces must maintain their non-intervention stance in the political crisis. The EU stands ready to maintain the support to the regional force ECOMIB, ongoing since 2014, once a decision will be taken on its presence in Bissau.”

EU regrets Schengen House in Kinshasa closure

On January 24th, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Democratic Republic of Congo informed by note verbale addressed to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, about the decision of the Congolese government to close the Schengen House in Kinshasa. In the current uncertainty following this announcement and the various contacts with the authorities, the Schengen House had to suspend its activities.

The Schengen House is an instrument for implementing the EU’s common visa policy aimed at facilitating the processing of visa applications for States Parties to the Schengen Treaty.

The 18 states participating in the consular system of Maison Schengen Kinshasa consider it important to preserve this form of local consular cooperation to ensure the continuity and quality of visa services for Congolese citizens. As such, they remain open to dialogue.

With regard to the decision to suspend the activities of the Belgian Cooperation Agency, the EU underlines the importance of the complementarity of its actions and those of the Member States in favor of the development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its population. Restrictions on one of the Member States could undermine the collective effort for the benefit of the Congolese.

EU diplomats focus on Libya

The Council of Foreign Affairs ministers will review the situation in Libya, following the meeting of the joint migration task force with the African Union and the UN on 14 December 2017.

The discussion will feed into the preparations of the 4th Quartet meeting at the end of January. The Quartet supports the UN-facilitated political process in Libya. It brings together the EU, the UN, the African Union, and the League of Arab States.


Violence in Nigeria causes MEPs ‘deep concern’

The European Parliament expresses deep concern about the security situation in Nigeria. MEPs call on President Muhammadu Buhari and his government to:

  • address the increasing inter-ethnic violence between pastoral communities and farmers by negotiating a national policy framework protecting the interests of both groups,
  • step up the efforts to stop the attacks against Christian and Muslims,
  • provide psychosocial support to the victims of Boko Haram radicalisation,
  • reform the Nigerian state security forces and investigate abuses perpetrated by security officials, such as extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrests, and
  • implement a moratorium on the death penalty, with a view to its abolition.

To reinforce their message MEPs ask the EU Commission and the European External Action Service to monitor the reintegration of Nigerian returnees from Libya, ensuring that the EU funding is spent effectively and keeping the European Parliament informed about the reintegration measures.



Castaldo calls EU to support democracy in Kenya

Strasbourg. Ahead of  the plenary debate on foreign affairs, Fabio CASTALDO, vice-president of European Parliament (Italy, Five Star Movement*), warns about dangers of deepening of democratic crisis in Kenya, and calls for an intense diplomatic actions of the EU to ensure restoration of fundamental rights and further peaceful development of the East African country. The outbreaks of violence are of particular concern, threatening the stability, and multiple economic projects aiming at raising the living standards of Kenyans.

Europe reminds Congo about Consitution

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.”

« Older Entries