Category Archives: Maghreb

EU continues investing in Tripoli

EU representatives from the EU Delegation to Libya, Operation Sophia and EUBAM met with the President of the Presidency Council, Fayez Al Serraj, and other Libyan officials in Tripoli, notably Deputy Minister of Defence Colonel Ewhida Abdullah Ewhida, the Chief of the Libyan Navy and the Chief of the Libyan Coastguard.

Discussions focused on the overall EU support to Libya and the Libyan needs, notably on capacity building for security institutions and the rule of law, border control and managing migration.

The mission took place just days after EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia, EUBAM Libya and the EU Liaison and Planning Cell supporting the peace and security process in Libya were renewed until December 2018.  On Operation Sophia, discussions focused on the implementation of the renewed mandate and tasks, notably on how to set up a monitoring mechanism to ensure the long-term efficiency of the training of the Libyan Coastguard.

The visit also followed the adoption of a new programme of €46 million under the EU Trust Fund for Africa on Friday 28 July, to reinforce the integrated migration and border management capacities of the Libyan authorities. It aims at stepping up activities in support of the Libyan Border- and Coast Guards to enhance their capacity to effectively manage the country’s borders. It complements the €90 million package adopted in April 2017 focused on the country stabilization and protection of IDPs, migrants, refugees and host communities in Libya.

The visit underlined the EU determination to support Libya, a close neighbour, at this important moment. EU financial support to Libya targets a wide range of sectors, among them health and education institutions, private sector development and local communities.

Tunisie: la loi protège les femmes

“L’Assemblée des représentants du peuple tunisien a franchi un pas majeur dans le processus de transition démocratique en adoptant à l’unanimité des députés présents une ambitieuse loi contre les violences faites aux femmes. Ce texte très attendu est une nouvelle étape cruciale vers le plein respect des droits humains et l’égalité des chances entre hommes et femmes. Il traduit la mise en œuvre de la Constitution tunisienne et le respect des engagements pris par la Tunisie au niveau international pour le respect et la promotion des droits de l’Homme” – a dit le texte de déclaration du porte-parole sur l’adoption par le Parlement tunisien de la loi contre les violences faites aux femmes.

“L’Union européenne soutient pleinement ce processus et restera engagée aux côtés du peuple tunisien pour la mise en œuvre effective de cette loi.”

Déclaration de Tunis sur la route migratoire en Méditerranée

Les Ministres de l’Intérieur réunis à Tunis aujourd’hui ont convenu de renforcer davantage la coordination en matière de gestion de la migration en Méditerranée centrale.

A cette fin, les Ministres ont convenu de l’approche à suivre dans trois domaines clé: traitement des causes profondes des migrations irrégulières; renforcement de l’action et de la coopération contre le trafic et la traite des migrants; coopération en matière de retour.

Les Ministres de l’Intérieur de l’Algérie, Allemagne, Autriche, France, Italie, Libye, Mali, Malte, Niger, Slovénie, Suisse, Tchad, Tunisie, le Commissaire européen chargé de la migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, des affaires intérieures et de la citoyenneté, ainsi que le Ministre de l’Intérieur de l’Estonie assurant la Présidence du Conseil de l’Union Européenne ont participé à la réunion.

 

EU supports one side in Libya’s conflict

The Council adopted conclusions on Libya.  The conclusions recognises that recent violence threatens Libya’s stability. The EU believes there is no solution to the Libyan crisis through the use of force. The Council reiterates its firm support to the Libyan Political Agreement and to the Presidency Council and Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj (pictured) established under it as the sole legitimate government authorities in the country. The EU calls on all armed groups to refrain from violence, to commit to demobilisation and to recognize the authorities entrusted by the Libyan Political Agreement as the only ones having the right to control Libya’s defence and security forces.

The EU warmly welcomes the appointment of Ghassan Salamé as new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, who will play a central mediation role based on the Libyan Political Agreement.

ECOWAS in controversy

The 51st ordinary meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) began in the Liberian capital Monrovia on Saturday, 3 of June.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited to address the ECOWAS meeting, the first time a non-African leader has been asked to speak to the event.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI canceled his participation at the summit in protest at Netanyahu’s presence.

Morocco’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the monarch “wants his first presence at an ECOWAS summit not to take place in a context of tension and controversy, and wants to avoid any confusion.”

“Over the last few days, key ECOWAS member states have decided to reduce their level of representation at the summit due to their disagreement with the invitation handed to the Israeli prime minister. Other member states also expressed their astonishment at this invitation,” it added.

The EU was presented by its top diplomat Federica Mogherini:

Egypt new law to burden NGOs

Brussels. “The new NGO law in Egypt is bound to put additional burden on NGOs’ activities and restrict the space of debate and discussion in the country” – says the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Actions Service (EEAS) on the new NGO law in Egypt.

“It risks making civil society’s contribution to political, economic and social development more difficult”.

“Some provisions, such as the ones related to the registration process, the activities NGOs are allowed to perform and the procedure for receiving domestic and foreign funding, are also likely to directly affect European cooperation assistance to Egypt. Indeed, a large part of our cooperation relies on non-governmental organisations as important implementing partners.”

“A flourishing civil society, able to work in good conditions, is important for democratic and economic development and to help build political stability. We therefore expect the Egyptian government to fully implement and uphold all the guarantees stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution and in international law and standards regarding freedom of expression and association, and the Egyptian authorities to apply the new law in a way that does not intimidate, restrict or criminalize peaceful human rights civil society organizations and their members.”

“Egypt is an important partner for the EU, and we stay committed to strengthening our bilateral cooperation and pursuing a constructive dialogue in all fields of our cooperation.” (Photo: President Al-Sisi)

EU expects ceasefire in Tripoli

“The fighting in Tripoli on recent days has broken a hard-wrought ceasefire that had been in place since March. The renewed violence puts at risk the promising start to a dialogue aimed at fostering reconciliation in Libya,” – says the statement of the European Action Service spokesperson.

“We expect the  warring factions to restore the ceasefire. There is no military solution to Libya’s political crisis,”  – the EEAS continues.

“The EU calls on Libya’s political leaders from all sides to come together to resolve the conflict through negotiation and compromise, in a Libya-led process under the aegis of the UN.”

“The people of Libya desire peace and are hoping for the chance to rebuild their lives in a stable, secure and prosperous country.  The EU, working together in the Libya Quartet with the African Union, the League of Arab States and the UN, continues to support this.”

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