Category Archives: East Africa

Kenyan elections: from hopes to confrontations

European Union observers of Kenya’s 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections said on that a lack of government cooperation meant they were unable to travel to the East African nation to present their final report on the vote.

“Kenyans went from high hopes for these elections to many disappointments and confrontations. Kenya remains deeply divided. Our final report and recommendations are intended to contribute to a better democratic process and a restoration of trust. But with every recommendation, leadership from those in power, support from the population, and cooperation between different fractions are needed in order to initiate reforms” – Chief Observer, Marietje Schaake (pictured) Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands explained.

Chief observer said the EU mission was scheduled to present its final report to the government and other groups in Kenya this week. The report to be published imperatively within three months of the vote, per the mission’s agreement with the government.

“We hope the recommendations in our final report will contribute to more resilient
democracy from which all Kenyans benefit”, – MEP Schaake concluded.

“This takes time to build up, which is why it is important that steps
are taken promptly to improve the legal framework, institutions and practices.”

Sudan extended ceasefire

Sudan has extended a unilateral ceasefire with rebels until the end of March, state news agency SUNA reported, citing a presidential decree.

In October, the United States lifted 20-year-old sanctions tied to progress on progress on counter terrorism cooperation and on resolving internal conflicts.

Fighting between the army and rebels in the Kordofan and Blue Nile regions broke out in 2011, when South Sudan declared independence. Conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when mainly non-Arab tribes took up arms against Sudan’s Arab-led government.

The ceasefire was set to expire at the end of December.

 

 

Gen.Stickland new Commander of Atalanta

The EU’s Political and Security Committee has appointed Major General Charlie Stickland, a high-ranking military official in the Royal Marines, as new Operation Commander of the Operation Atalanta. He will take up his duties on 7 November 2017.

The European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Operation Atalanta contributes to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The operation is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach for a peaceful, stable and democratic Somalia.

 

The operation also protects vessels of the World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping, monitors fishing activities off the coast of Somalia and supports other EU missions and programmes in the region.

After the car bomb attack of 14 October 2017 in Mogadishu, Operation Atalanta, the EU Delegation in Somalia and the EU Training Mission in Somalia, provided support in particular to the United Nations to assist the victims.

The EU’s Political and Security Committee is composed of member states’ ambassadors based in Brussels.

Somalia at “critical political juncture”

“The attacks in Somalia’s capital mark one of the worst the city has suffered in over a decade, leading to a large number of casualties and injuries to innocent civilians” – says the text of the statement by the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini on the attacks in Mogadishu, Somalia.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wish a full recovery to those injured in the attacks.”

“At this critical political juncture in the history of Somalia, the European Union reaffirms its long term commitment to the country and its people. It will be crucial that the government remains united to defeat terrorism and strengthen security. The achievements of past years, which the international community has supported, must continue.”

“The Federal Government of Somalia and its Federal Member States must enhance their joint efforts to fight terrorism and to build peace, stability, prosperity and inclusivity in the country.”

Easing of US sanction on Sudan

The easing of US sanctions on Sudan is an important step in Sudan’s efforts at reintegration into the international community. The EU expects Sudan to make further progress in addressing the several challenges that still remain.

In this regard, the EU encourages the Government of Sudan to progress further towards peace and reconciliation in Sudan. This includes the strengthening of the democratization process and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the commitment to genuine political and economic reforms, addressing the root causes of conflict in Darfur and the Two Areas. Further efforts at respecting international humanitarian law and providing safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need remain also essential.

The EU is ready to accompany Sudan in this process, in particular towards free and credible elections and an inclusive constitutional review, in line with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) roadmap led by President Mbeki, which the EU supports.

Continued cooperation in support of stability in the region remains critical.

EU praises Kenya’s judiciary independence

“The Kenyan Supreme Court’s ordering of a re-run of the Presidential elections is a strong demonstration of the independence of the Kenyan judiciary and the strength of national democracy. The appeal procedure is in line with the democratic process as prescribed in the Constitution of Kenya” – says the text of the statement released by the European External Action Service (EEAS), signed by its head Federica Mogherini.

“At this important time, the court decision requires all political forces and the Kenyan people to act with the highest sense of responsibility and full respect for the rule of law and the Constitution”  – the statement continues.

“All institutions involved in the re-run of the elections should now be given the space to continue to work independently and start preparing for new transparent, credible, inclusive and peaceful elections, fulfilling all the requirements of the Constitution and the election law. A peaceful election campaign will require political leaders to use their authority.”

“The EU is continuing to support Kenya in these efforts. The EU Election Observation Mission will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process.”

“Kenya is a key partner for the European Union in the region and we are committed to strengthening our relationship further after the elections.”

Kenya’s elections annulled

Kenya’s Supreme Court has annulled the result of last month’s presidential election, citing irregularities, and ordered a new one within 60 days.

The election commission had declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes.

Raila Odinga, Mr Kenyatta’s opponent, said the commission was “rotten” and demanded resignations and prosecutions.

President Kenyatta said he would respect the court’s decision but also branded the judges “crooks”.

Other elections in Africa have been annulled or cancelled but this appears to be the first time on the continent that an opposition court challenge against a presidential poll result has been successful.

« Older Entries