Category Archives: East Africa

Borrell visits Mozambique

Brussels 09.09.2022 “It has been a very important visit. And for me, it is a good occasion to discuss with our African partners about the very difficult and complex international landscape and the fundamental geopolitical developments that we have been living in during this year” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell addressing President Filipe Nyusi and Foreign Minister Dlhovo, for receiving him today Mozambique.

“In this geopolitical environment, the European Union wants to continue being a close partner of Africa, and in particular of Mozambique.

“At the moment, we are living the most difficult moment, the most challenging threats – I can say – to our own security since the end of World War II. But the European Union does not forget other crises in other parts of the world.

“We are very much aware that this war in Ukraine is affecting everybody, and that in some countries like in Mozambique, you have your own problems. And that they also deserve our attention.

“And I wanted to visit Mozambique, not only because it is one of the largest recipients of the European Union’s support. It is. Among all African countries, Mozambique is a country that receives strong support from the European Union, the third one in terms of absolute support.

“Not only because of that. That would be a good reason, but also because I wanted to express the commitment and solidarity of the European Union with Mozambique in fighting against terrorism and looking for peace. Unhappily, my visit coincides with the killing of six people in the Nampula province just yesterday. I took a good note of this, because this attack and this killing of six people is a stark reminder that the fight against terrorism is not over and that, unhappily, it is spreading out of the Cabo Delgado region to other regions.

“This is not a new threat. You, Minister, know that better than I do. And to help the Mozambican armed forces in Cabo Delgado, we have implemented in a record time, an [EU] Training Mission (EUTM Mozambique) that has already trained 600 soldiers. And will continue doing that.

“We are also delivering military capacities. Through our European Peace Facility, we are funding equipment such as pickup trucks and individual combat equipment. Tomorrow, in my visit to the Headquarters, the barracks of the mission, I will be witnessing the handover of this material to the Mozambican armed forces.

“I also want to commend the efforts of the Rwandan contingent and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission to Mozambique, the SAMIM, which we are also supporting.

“I am pleased that today I could announce to the President, the decision taken in Brussels, at the European Union Headquarters, just this morning, to provide €15 million to this mission.

“Allow me to point out, to show, the importance of our complementary military support to this training mission. We are going to provide €89 million on military capabilities for the units that we are training – not only training, but preparing them to fulfil their duty.

“But we know that we cannot win a war against terror only with soldiers and weapons. The solution cannot be only a military solution. In these circumstances, you cannot win the war if you do not win peace.

“Development needs peace and peace needs development. Both things have to go together, hand in hand. This is why our approach has to be comprehensive – not only military support, but also boosting economic development. Economic growth, job creation, wellbeing of the people, public services, education, health. These are the basis of peace. And that is why we are working closely with the government of Mozambique. And, in parallel to our security support, we are focusing on education, on access to water and sanitation, energy, nutrition and the fight against climate change. These are the basis of a good society. And a good society is the only remedy against terror.

“Allow me a last word. I want also to say that to strengthen our partnership with Mozambique, we want to do that on the international stage. Not only bilaterally, but also taking into account what is happening in the wider world.

“And I had to congratulate the President for the election of Mozambique as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. For which I want also to congratulate you, Foreign Minister [Verónica Macamo Dlhovo], as you will have to play an important role in New York.

“We hope that we will continue working with Mozambique to defend multilateralism and a rules-based international order – including the United Nations’ Charter, which is the basic pillar of this order. And multilateralism, nowadays, needs to be strengthened, not to be weakened. Because it is the best tool that we have to address global trends and challenges that threaten all of us, all around the world.”

Eid al-Adha wishes to Sudanese

Brussels 14.07.2022 The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) and the European Union extend our warm wishes to the Sudanese people at the conclusion of Eid al-Adha:

“Eight months after the military takeover we note the announcement by Sovereign Council Chair General Burhan that the military forces will cease participation in political talks. We acknowledge the stated intention of the military forces, upon agreement among civilian parties to form a transitional government, to withdraw from the political scene.

“The military and security forces should be held to this commitment. They must also end violence against civilians and hold to account those responsible for unlawful killings and other human rights violations and abuses.

“We encourage all political actors committed to the democratic transition to engage swiftly in an inclusive dialogue to form a civilian-led transitional government. This process must deliver an agreement that defines: a clear timeline for free and fair elections; procedures for selecting a transitional prime minister and other key officials; and a dispute resolution mechanism to help avoid future political crises.

“A transitional government must be civilian-led, and have broad-based, nation-wide support. There must also be full clarity on, and oversight of, the military’s role and responsibilities. Such matters cannot be defined unilaterally by the military; they require dialogue and transparency to help avoid future disputes.

“We commend the tripartite initiative of the United Nations, African Union, and Intergovernmental Authority on Development to facilitate such an inclusive dialogue and support their continued efforts.

“Nearly three years since Sudan began its transition to democracy, we deeply regret the continued loss of life, and reversal of important economic and political progress. We commend the devotion of the Sudanese people to a more peaceful and just future and honor the sacrifices of those who have lost their lives in support of democracy.

“The Troika and the European Union look forward to supporting a transitional civilian government that enjoys popular support, reflecting the hope and aspirations we share with the Sudanese people”.

Malawi elephants relocation

11.07.2022 After several years of intense wildlife conservation, the Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi is being decongested. Subsequently the 250 elephants will be relocated from this reserve to the Kasungu National Park in the centre of the East African country.

The waste operation, which will be carried out during July 2022 by the Malawi government and its partners, aims to alleviate pressure on the habitat and reduce potential human-wildlife conflicts.

The Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), the conservation organisation African Parks and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are organising a complicated animal decongestion operation in Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi. The animals will be transported about 350 km by road from Liwonde National Park, managed by African Parks, to Kasungu National Park, supported by IFAW.

Mozambique: EU allocates €45M

Brussels 21.04.2022 Today the Council adopted a decision amending the assistance measure for support to the Mozambican Armed Forces under the European Peace Facility (EPF) adopted in November 2021, adding a further amount of €45 million. This additional support brings overall EPF support for Mozambique to €89 million in total.

The assistance measure aims to strengthen EU support for capacity building and the deployment of the units of the Mozambican Armed Forces trained by the EU Training Mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique). This support consists of the provision of integrated packages of equipment and supplies in conjunction with EU training missions. The aim is to ensure that the training is as efficient and effective as possible, enabling EUTM-trained troops to be fully operational and self-sufficient upon deployment.

Through this assistance measure, the EU will finance equipment to benefit the eleven Mozambican companies to be trained by the EUTM, including individual and collective equipment, ground mobility assets, as well as a field hospital.

The European Peace Facility was established in March 2021 to finance all Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) actions in military and defence areas, with the aim of preventing conflict, preserving peace and strengthening international security and stability. In particular, the European Peace Facility allows the EU to finance actions designed to strengthen the capacities of third states and regional and international organisations as regards military and defence matters.

Ethiopia: EU condemns Human Rights violations

Brussels 09.04.2022 “The EU is appalled about the report by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International with regards to the widespread human rights violations and abuses of civilians in the Western part of Tigray.

“An independent UN investigation, complementing the efforts of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, is urgently needed, to establish facts and responsibilities contributing to accountability and justice for victims.

“An International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia was created by the EU led resolution in December 2021. The EU reiterates its calls on the Government to fully cooperate with the Commission so investigations can start immediately. The EU regrets delays in the budgetary discussions in the UN 5th Committee and calls on all partners to engage constructively to ensure the necessary resources for the International Commission, whose goal is to help Ethiopia on the way towards truce and reconciliation.

“The EU condemns in the strongest terms all human rights violations and abuses and violations of international human rights law, and of international humanitarian law, committed in northern Ethiopia since the conflict began on 3 November 2020.

“The EU calls for an immediate halt to all human rights violations and abuses and calls upon all parties to the conflict to facilitate full, safe, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access ensure that humanitarian relief reaches all civilians in need”.

EU on Mogadishu attacks

Brussels 25.03.2022 “The European Union stands in solidarity with the Somali people after the recent bomb attacks in Mogadishu and Beledweyne District. These terror attacks on innocent people included the targeting of the international airport and the main hospital where casualties of a previous attack were being brought” reads the statement by the European External Action Sercie Spokesperson on the attacks in Mogadishu and Beledweyne District.

“The European Union offers its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. We encourage Somalia’s leaders to increase security and defeat those who use violence against the Somali people”.

“The European Union is a steadfast supporter of Somalia’s state-building process and a partner for peace and security. The European Union recalls its strong support for the imminent and peaceful conclusion of the electoral process to deliver on the aspirations of the Somali people for a stable and prosperous future”.

Borrell travels Kenya and Mozambique

Brussels 28.01.2021 High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, will visit Kenya from 28-29 January and Mozambique from 30-31 January.

In Kenya, the High Representative will have several bilateral meetings and kick off the EU-Kenya Strategic Dialogue with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Raychelle Omamo, and other Kenyan ministers. The Strategic Dialogue will strengthen the EU’s and Kenya’s regional and multilateral cooperation and focuses on the areas of peace, security and stability; democracy, governance and human rights, including gender equality; trade and investment; social development; climate change and the green transition; and the digital agenda.

The EU-Kenya Strategic Dialogue was agreed by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President Uhuru Kenyatta, in June 2021, to take the bilateral relationship to a new level.

High Representative Borrell will also launch the Kenya-European Union Cooperation Programme for the period 2021-2027, with an amount of €324 million for the first four years, and targeting above all environmental sustainability and resilience; human development and digital inclusion; and peace and stability, with a special focus on women and youth. In addition, he will also visit some EU supported projects and initiatives in Kenya that work on justice reform for the most vulnerable, green job creation and economic growth, and on wildlife and preservation of natural resources.

On 30-31 January, High Representative Borrell will travel to Mozambique, where he will meet with President Filipe Nyusi and Foreign Minister Verónica Macamo Dlhovo. Topics discussed will be EU-Mozambique cooperation, the implementation of the Maputo Peace and Reconciliation Accord, the work of the EU military training mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique) and the EU integrated approach to address security challenges in Cabo Delgado and surrounding provinces.

The High Representative will also visit the headquarters and a training camp of EUTM Mozambique, and an EU-funded project on education and COVID-19 response.

This visit to Africa comes ahead of the sixth EU – AU Summit in Brussels on 17-18 February, attended by the leaders of the European Union and African Union Member States.

Ethiopia: UN Human Rights commission

Brussels 18.12.2021 Following a resolution presented by the European Union the United Nations Human Rights Council will establish an international commission of human rights experts on Ethiopia. An important step forward to ensure accountability of the perpetrators and justice for the victims” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

A joint investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the UN Human Rights Office has found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that all parties to the conflict in Tigray have, to varying degrees, committed violations of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In a report published on December 3, which examines the devastating impact the conflict has had on civilians, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) details a series of violations and abuses, including unlawful killings and extra-judicial executions, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, violations against refugees, and forced displacement of civilians.

The report covers the period from 3 November 2020, when the armed conflict began between the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF), the Amhara Special Forces (ASF), the Amhara Fano and other militias on one side, and the Tigrayan Special Forces (TSF), Tigrayan militia and other allied groups on the other, until 28 June 2021 when the Ethiopian Government declared a unilateral ceasefire.

The JIT visited several locations, including Mekelle, Eastern Tigray (Wukro), Southeastern Tigray (Samre and nearby areas), Southern Tigray ( Alamata, Bora and Maichew), Western Tigray (Dansha, Humera and Mai Kadra), and Bahir Dar and Gondar in the Amhara region, as well as Addis Ababa. The JIT conducted 269 confidential interviews with victims and witnesses of alleged violations and abuses, and other sources; and held over 60 meetings with federal and regional officials, representatives of international organisations, NGOs, community-based committees, medical personnel, and other sources.

The JIT faced several security, operational, and administrative challenges in carrying out its work, in particular being unable to carry out all planned visits to parts of Tigray. The report acknowledges with gratitude the many victims and witnesses who shared their experiences with the JIT, and thanks the Ethiopian and non-governmental entities for their cooperation.

“As the conflict expands with more reports of violations and abuses, this report presents an opportunity for all parties to acknowledge responsibility and commit to concrete measures on accountability, redress for victims and the search for a sustainable solution to end the suffering of millions,” said Daniel Bekele, Chief Commissioner of the EHRC. “EHRC remains engaged in monitoring the human rights situation since end of June and will be sharing its findings in due course,” Bekele said.

“The Tigray conflict has been marked by extreme brutality. The gravity and seriousness of the violations and abuses we have documented underscore the need to hold perpetrators accountable on all sides,” said Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“As the conflict has escalated, with civilians as ever caught in the middle, it is vital that all parties heed the repeated calls to end hostilities and seek a lasting ceasefire,” said Bachelet, who is today also issuing a separate update on developments since the June cut-off date of the joint report.

Sudan: Borrell calls for restraint

Brussels 30.10.2021 “The military coup of Monday 25 October has sparked massive and growing protests that have been met with violence. In anticipation of the announced peaceful demonstrations next Saturday 30 October, we call upon all military and police forces to exercise restraint and treat demonstrators and journalists with due respect” reads the statement by the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell prior to the announced peaceful demonstrations in Sudan.

“The EU also repeats the call for the immediate release of all political detainees since the military coup and to respect their physical integrity and human rights”.

“An immediate return to the path of civilian led transition to democracy remains the one and only road to freedom, peace and justice for all Sudanese. A dialogue between all parties is needed to that end. We stand ready to support that dialogue and continue the support for the civilian-led transition”.

Sudan in turmoil

Brussels 25.10.2021 “The EU condemns the detention of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other members of the civilian leadership by Sudan’s military forces. We call on the security forces to immediately release those they have unlawfully detained. The actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution, the transition, and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development” reads the statement by the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on the current political situation in Sudan.

“The right of peaceful protest must be respected; violence and bloodshed must be avoided at all cost; we also urge communication networks to be open” Borrell has underscored.

The EU will continue to support those working for a democratic Sudan with a fully legitimate civilian government ensuring peace, freedom and justice for the Sudanese people. This remains the best guarantee for the long-term stability of the country and the broader regions.

Soldiers arrested most of the members of Sudan’s cabinet on Monday and a military officer dissolved the transitional government, while opponents of the takeover took to the streets where gunfire and injuries were reported. Soraya Ali reports.

Protests have erupted in the capital Khartoum, and other cities. Three people were slain during the demonstrations. Military and civilian leaders have been at odds since President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown two years ago.

Video footage from Khartoum on Monday, October 25, showed large crowds in the streets, including many women. Barricades of burning tyres produce black smoke rising in various parts of the city.

« Older Entries