Category Archives: EU-Africa

EU on terrorist attack in Nigeria

A terrorist bombing on a market in north east Borno state in Nigeria has caused many deaths and injuries. We extend our sincere condolences to the victims and their families and our thoughts are with all those affected by this.

The EU reaffirms its full solidarity with the Nigerian government and people in their fight against terrorism. Together, we are determined to promote and support cooperation among the neighbouring countries and communities.

The EU is at the forefront of international efforts to help address the humanitarian needs of victims of Boko Haram in the region as well as the root causes of the radicalisation and violent extremism through concrete projects and funding.  The EU is also supporting the African Union led Multinational Joint Task Force whose action aims at eradicating the threat of Boko Haram.

EU on elections in Rwanda

The European Union has closely followed the presidential elections in Rwanda.

The Rwandan people have engaged in the democratic process peacefully, with polling held in an organised and secure environment, and a diverse set of issues having been raised across a wide range of media in the campaign.
This marks a step to strengthen the electoral process. In view of future elections, the EU expects further efforts to increase the inclusiveness and transparency of the process, in particular as regards the registration of the candidates, the tabulation of results and other prerequisites for achieving a level playing field.  In this regard, it supports recommendations made by the African Union electoral observation mission to avoid future risks of counting irregularities, and to allow disqualified candidates to appeal. 

The EU remains ready to support Rwanda to meet that objective.

EU expert team in Mopti and Segou

The Council has adopted a decision authorising a stabilisation action in the central regions of Mali, in the Mopti and Segou governorates. In response to the invitation from the Malian authorities, the European Union will deploy a team of experts to support Malian national plans and policies, in order to counter the growing insecurity and to re-establish and expand the civilian administration in these regions. The action’s primary objective is to help consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, human rights and gender equality by strengthening general governance in this region for the benefit of the local communities.

The EU stabilisation team will be responsible for advising the Malian authorities in Mopti and Segou on governance-related issues, and supporting the planning and implementation by the Malian authorities of activities aimed at reinstating the civilian administration and basic services in the region. The team will be able also to support anenhanced dialogue between the Malian authorities and the local communities.

The stabilisation team will consist of 10 people and will have a budget of €3.25 million for an initial operating phase of one year. It will be based within the EU Delegation in Mali and will operate in Bamako, Mopti and Segou. This action will complement those of the EU Delegation in Mali and the CSDP missions deployed there (EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUTM Mali), and is part of the EU’s integrated approach in Mali. The stabilisation team will also work in close cooperation with other international actors in the region, particularly the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

 

This stabilisation action is decided by the Council on the basis of Article 28 of the Treaty on European Union, which states that ‘where the international situation requires operational action by the Union, the Council shall adopt the necessary decisions. They shall lay down their objectives, scope, the means to be made available to the Union, if necessary their duration, and the conditions for their implementation.’ This is the first time that a Council decision has been decided in that context. The decision was adopted by the Council by written procedure.

Tajani enhances support to Sahel

The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani had a meeting with the President of the Republic of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno. The discussion has been focused on the fragility of Sahel´s region security.

“Chad’s contribution in the fight against terrorism (Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in particular) is crucial to the stability of the region, as are the efforts of all Sub-Saharan African countries,” – said president Tajani after the meeting. “The European Union and the international community have to support Chad. In this context, I welcome and encourage the recent creation of  G5 Sahel Force”.

“We have an aligned view of the challenges posed by the situation in Libya, in particular, when it comes to the terrorist threat and persistent instability of the Sahel region. Chad is key to stability of Libya as security of its borders is to manage migration flows,” -Tajani underlined.

“Europe and Africa face the same challenge with regards to managing migration flows. We must go to the root of the problem and invest better and more in Africa, within the framework of robust economic diplomacy to create growth and employment. The recently adopted European Fund for Sustainable Development for Africa (EFSD) by the European Parliament is the step in the right direction. However, if we want to be successful, this fund has to be considerably augmented” – Tajani concluded.

Sex-traffic from Nigeria at raise

The International Organisation for Migration reports a sharp raise in the number of African girls being trafficked to Europe, especially from Nigeria.

Over the past three years, IOM Italy has seen an almost 600 per cent increase in the number of potential sex trafficking victims arriving in Italy by sea. This upward trend has continued during the first six months of 2017, with most victims arriving from Nigeria.

This is one of the key findings of a new report published by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, Human Trafficking through the Central Mediterranean Route, which was released in Italian this week (21 July) by IOM’s Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome. A translation from Italian to English will be available soon.

Among other findings, the report states that sexual exploitation increasingly involves younger girls – often minors – who are already subject to violence and abuse on their way to Europe. IOM estimates that 80 per cent of girls arriving from Nigeria – whose numbers have soared from 1,454 in 2014 to 11,009 in 2016 – are potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The report is based on data collected by IOM at landing sites and in reception centres for migrants in the regions of southern Italy, where the Organization carries out identification of potential victims and assists those who, once identified, decide to escape their exploiters and accept IOM support.

“Trafficking is a transnational crime that devastates the lives of thousands of people and is the cause of untold suffering,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean. “This is a theme we have been working on for years, committing to protect, prevent and collaborate with the authorities dealing with organized crime.”

“The report describes the organization’s activities in the face of this phenomenon: the difficulties in protecting victims and the main vulnerabilities identified among several cases of people who were assisted by the Organization. We also wanted to tell some of the stories of people who have been assisted by IOM staff to highlight the true nature of this painful and hateful form of slavery. We also feel that it is increasingly urgent that data analysis be accompanied by an examination of the market these girls supply, and the growing demand for paid sexual services,” – IOM Project Manager Carlotta Santarossa concluded.

 

EU condemns terrorism in Mali

“We stand together in our fight against terrorism,” EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said in remarks to the press this morning. “These are difficult and dramatic hours which testify to how European and Africans are brothers and sisters in both the fight against terrorism and in the solidarity of our response to it,” Mogherini said.

“We will continue to work together day after day and will not let terrorism win,” Mogherini added in a press conference later in the day.

The EU currently has more than 500 troops from 27 countries deployed in Mali with a mandate to provide capacity-building to the Malian army and support their mission to restore Malian territorial integrity, protect the population and reduce the threat posed by terrorist groups.

EU foreign ministers meeting today in Luxembourg adopted positions on counter-terrorism as well as the Africa-EU partnership and EU support to Mali and the Sahel region. They reiterated the EU’s full support to the implementation of the Malian Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. They also commended the political leadership of the G5 Sahel countries G5 Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) for recently setting up a joint counter-terrorism force, which the EU recently announced it would support with EUR 50 million.

The EU takes an integrated approach to promote the security, stability and development of the region. In addition to its support for the G5 Sahel force, the EU invests heavily in sustainable development in Mali and the region. The EU’s development cooperation initiatives in Mali mainly focus on political and economic governance, strengthening institutional capacities and regional integration. The EU furthermore provides around EUR 46 million a year in humanitarian aid to Mali.

“Our partnership is very strong and will be consolidated, strengthened on the occasion of the Africa-EU summit this November,” Mogherini said.

Europarliament screens rescue operation in Mediterranean

To avoid migrants continuing to drown while trying to reach Italy, EU countries must offer their help the Members of the European Parliament suggest.

The Civil Liberties Committee held a hearing on search-and-rescue operations, the relations between the different actors including EU military vessels, Frontex staff and NGOs, the need to fight people smugglers as well as cooperation with Libyan authorities.

Italian Coast Guard Captain Sandro Gallinelli, Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri, as well as representatives of Doctors without Borders and Human Rights Watch presented the committee with their views.

Most MEPs in the debate defended the work of NGOs from criticism that their presence and rescue interventions are encouraging perilous journeys and even supporting human traffickers. Nevertheless, some MEPs also agreed that a code of conduct is needed to create order in operations at sea.

Many voiced doubts about the cooperation with Libya, pointing to the political instability in the country, the unreliability of its authorities and the heightened risk of abuse and violence faced by migrants who are returned to its shores.

Finally, most MEPs considered that a longer-term solution is needed, via a well-functioning asylum system, based on fair burden-sharing by all member states, combined with legal ways for migrating to the EU as well as a strategy to address the root causes of migration in the countries of origin.

 

 

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