Category Archives: East Africa

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.

#PandoraPapers: President Kenyatta hidden wealth

Strasbourg 05.10.2021 While Uhuru Kenyatta succeeded in a political comeback by campaigning against corruption, his family’s secret fortune was growing offshore, a massive new leak to @ICIJorg shows.

At his annual State of the Nation address last autumn, President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed Kenya’s Parliament acknowledging that too many Kenyans live in poverty and too many civil servants loot the country’s public resources.

During this address the son of Kenya’s first President and leader of one of Africa’s largest economies, the 59-year-old Kenyatta urged lawmakers to join him in fighting corruption and yet again repeated “the centrality of transparency, accountability and good governance as the anchors of sustainable development.”

However a massive amount of newly leaked documents show that Kenyatta’s family has for years been intensely accumulating a personal fortune behind offshore corporate veils.

Kenyatta, along with his mother, sisters and brother, have for decades shielded wealth from public scrutiny through foundations and companies in tax havens, including Panama, with assets worth more than $30 million, according to records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with more than 600 reporters and media organisations around the world.

The records – from the Panamanian law firm Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal) – show that the family owned at least seven such entities, two registered anonymously in Panama and five in the British Virgin Islands. One BVI company owned a home in central London, according to the records, and two other companies held investment portfolios worth tens of millions of dollars. The Kenyattas’ offshore wealth, revealed here for the first time, represents part of an estimated half-billion-dollar family fortune amassed in a country where the average annual salary is less than $8,000 a year.

The family began to accumulate much of its offshore wealth while Uhuru Kenyatta was a rising star of politics, promising defeat corruption. Two offshore companies were created during an investigation into alleged looting of the public treasury during the watch of President Daniel arap Moi, Kenyatta’s former political patron.

Under Kenyan law, the President must provide a list of financial interests to the Ministry of Finance each year. Kenyatta and his family members did not respond to requests for comment, including whether he declared any offshore interests or was required to do so.

Details of the Kenyatta family’s offshore wealth have been brought to light by the leaked Pandora Papers, a collection of more than 11.9 million records from 14 law firms and other service providers based in the United Arab Emirates, the Seychelles, Panama, Singapore and other tax havens.

The investigation has revealed assets of 35 current or former world leaders, including the king of Jordan, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, and Kenyatta’s fellow African leaders Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo.

ZAMBIA: EU congratulates Hakainde Hichilema

Brussels 16.08.2021 The European Union welcomes the announcement of results by the Electoral Commission of Zambia and congratulates President-elect Hakainde Hichilema.

We look forward to working with the new President and his government, as well as with the newly elected members of the National Assembly, to strengthen our long and productive partnership with Zambia.

As a longstanding supporter of Zambia’s democratic process, the European Union commends voters who clearly demonstrated their commitment to democracy, participating in large numbers despite the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The example set by those candidates who made timely statements of concession is also very welcome.

The EU Election Observation Mission’s preliminary assessment found that, despite a number of shortcomings during the campaign, the election day itself was largely calm and the electoral process was technically well managed. The EU Electoral Observation Mission remains in the country completing its work and finalising recommendations, on which we look forward to working closely with Zambian stakeholders.

Ethiopia voting in key elections

Brussels 21.06.2021 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (pictured) is facing his first real test at the ballot in what is Ethiopia’s first multi-party election in 16 years, albeit one riven with conflict, jailed opposition figures and parts of the country unable to vote.

Abiy said he expected the poll to be peaceful, tweeting ahead of the vote that it would be Ethiopia’s “first attempt at free and fair elections.” But some Ethiopians and political analysts disagreed with the Prime minister.

Abiy was appointed, not elected, but vowed to hold the most credible elections Ethiopia had ever seen to secure a mandate for his reform agenda.

The ruling coalition that preceded him claimed staggering majorities in the two previous elections, which observers said fell far short of being free and fair.

The poll was postponed from August 2020 to June 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of Abiy’s opponents declared him illegitimate when his term expired in October.

The election was postponed the second time to June 21 because of logistical setbacks, including delays in voter registration and a lack of electoral officials.

The war in Tigray, and ethnic unrest elsewhere, is expected to make voting impossible in large parts of the diverse country of 110 million.

The atmosphere was peaceful at one Addis Ababa polling station visited by CNN on Monday, June 21, morning. Several Ethiopians waiting patiently in line said they were voting because they hoped it would help move the country in a more democratic direction.

The European Union has long withdrawn its election observation mission to Ethiopia, citing the government’s uncooperative stance in fulfilling “standard requirements” relating to security and the independence of the observer group.

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