Category Archives: EU-Africa

EU-Sudan dialogue depends on reforms progress

On 19 November 2018, the Council adopted conclusions on Sudan, which remains crucial for the peace and stability of the wider Horn of Africa. The Council reaffirms the EU’s readiness to engage in an evolving dialogue and cooperation with Khartoum, depending on progress shown by Sudan in committing to internal reforms, including human rights and good governance, facilitation of humanitarian assistance, sustainable peace and a constructive role in the region.

The Council urges the Sudanese authorities to fully respect the right to freedom of expression, press, access to information, association and peaceful assembly, in compliance with international human rights law. The Council underlines that the run-up to 2020 elections should be an opportunity for Sudan to demonstrate its commitment to reforms by allowing the full participation of all its citizens in an inclusive political process and without restrictions to individual rights.

In this regard, the Council expresses its deep concern with the shrinking space for the civil society and the persecutions against human rights defenders, students, political activists, journalists, and other media workers, as well as with the situation for women and girls.

Despite Sudan’s non-ratification of the revised Cotonou Agreement, the EU remains committed to the people of Sudan, and since 2010 has made €196 million available from the European Development Fund to address the needs of people living in conflict-affected areas. As part of this overall support, in March 2016 the EU approved a Special Measure of €100 million, which is channelled through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The Special Measure will be implemented in Darfur, the Eastern States of Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref (and, to the extent that access and security conditions allow, in the Southern border areas). It will focus on the provision of basic needs in education and health, livelihoods and food security, and the strengthening of civil society, local governance and peacebuilding. Major beneficiaries of EU support will be vulnerable populations; in particular refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees and the local communities hosting them.

 

EU-South African to strengthen rules-based order

EU and South African leaders reviewed relations and discussed ways of intensifying and broadening their cooperation, at this 7thsummit between the two sides, which took place 100 years after Nelson Mandela’s birth.

The summit is an opportunity for the leaders to advance bilateral cooperation, including trade, as well as multilateralism and the rules-based order.

The leaders have  focused their discussions on five main areas:

  • economic, trade and investment cooperation
  • development cooperation
  • global challenges such as climate change, migration and human rights
  • multilateralism and cooperation in multilateral fora
  • the situation in the neighborhoods of each partner

The summit is held in the framework of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership signed in 2007.

The EU is South Africa’s number one trading and investment partner.

Ramaphosa addresses Europarliament

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has addressed MEPs in a formal sitting in Strasbourg on Wednesday, 14 November during Plenary week.

In view of upcoming VII EU-South Africa Summit in Brussels on 15 November the EU-South Africa strategic relations and cooperation, peace and security in Africa  are among the issues addressed in Mr Ramaphosa’s  speech.

 

The development and trade are the priorities and focus of the bilateral relations between the EU and South Africa.

Through his address President Ramaphosa confirmed his loyalty to the heritage of Nelson Mandela, and determination to continue the development of South Africa in his footsteps.

This millennium Mr.Ramaphosa is the second South African President to deliver a speech in the House since his predecessor Thabo Mbeki took floor in November 2004.

CF8BB554-A014-4E8C-B237-F36D935B2837

Armistice: in memory of colonial troops

The Beninese artist Angélique Kidjo sang in memory of the colonial troops, during a grand Armistice commemoration ceremony  in Paris a few days after the homage paid by Emmanuel Macron and the Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in Reims to the 200,000 soldiers of the “black force” engaged in the First World War.

Taking place in rain at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, the moving ceremony was opened by “Sarabande” of Bach interpreted by the American cellist Yo-Yo Ma and concluded by the Ravel bolero played by the youth orchestra of the European Union.

In front of a crowd of leaders gathered under a tent, high school students read, in different languages, testimonies of the fighters of the “Great War” which mobilized 70 million soldiers, made 10 million dead and 20 million wounded among the combatants.

On  November, 7 President Macron honoured the fromer  colonial troops who fought alongside the French with Mali‘s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Reims, a city defended by the African soldiers.

 

EU observers assess Madagascar elections

Polling stations have been opened at 6 AM local time (03:00 GMT) and closed at 5PM (14:00 GMT).  Despite long queues, no anomalies were detected in the polls, according to the head of the European Union’s observer mission, Cristian Dan Preda.

According to the country’s electoral commission, the CENI, turnout was around 40 percent.

Incumbent President Hery Rajaonarimampianina has many competitors, including  four former presidents seeking for a mandate,  however his two main challengers are both former heads of state: Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina.

All three major competitors have crisscrossed the island in a chase for votes and each has pledged to accelerate recovery for an economy the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts will grow at more than five percent this year, its highest rate in a decade.

Civil society groups accuse three wealthy front runners of profiting from politics,  all candidates vehemently deny.

EU delegation led by Member of European Parliament Cristian Dan Preda (Romania, EPP) will address press on Friday, 9 November to conclude the work of the EU monitoring  mission.

The European Union is one of the largest donors of the official development assistance in Madagascar, with the European Development Fund (EDF) being the main financial instrument. For the period 2014-2020, an indicative amount of € 518 million has been set. Its main objective is to fight against poverty, through the strengthening of good governance and the promotion of a sustainable economy.

EU condemns terror attack in Tunis

The EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn condemned the terrorist attack in Tunis,  committed by a woman (29) suicide bomber; who blew herself up near police vehicles in the center of the Tunisian capital, killing one policeman and injuring nine pedestrians.

The attack followed  a chain of terrorist acts since June 2015, when 38 people were killed in a shooting rampage at the coastal resort of Sousse  targeting tourists, while an attack the same year on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis left 22 people dead.

The terror attacks targeted Tunisia’s crucial tourism sector, which at times reached seven percent of gross domestic product.

The country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when an IS-claimed suicide bombing in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.

The state of emergency was extended earlier this month until November 6, amid a tense political climate ahead of legislative and presidential elections planned for next year.

 

 

EU continues to work for stability of Cameroon

“Following the announcement of the results of the presidential election in Cameroon by the Constitutional Council, the European Union expects the President-elect to bring together all stakeholders to overcome the challenges facing the country, to the benefit of all Cameroonians” says the European External Actions Service statement on the presidential elections in Cameroon.

“While elections were generally held in a peaceful manner, some parts of the population were unable to take part in the vote. The EU reiterates its concern about the situation in the North-West and South-West regions of the country. It is crucial that the authorities are open to the proposals of civil society and religious authorities for a peaceful and lasting resolution of the crisis, and that a process of dialogue be launched as soon as possible with all actors in favour of peace.”

“The preliminary statement of the African Union Election Observation Mission recommends strengthening the legal and institutional framework for elections in Cameroon, which could increase voter confidence in the electoral process and make it more inclusive. Such reforms are crucial and the EU stands ready to accompany such a process. The EU takes note that all appeals lodged by the opposition candidates have been rejected”.

“The European Union, as a major partner of Cameroon, will continue to work for the development and stability of the country for the benefit of all Cameroonians.”

« Older Entries