Category Archives: NEWS

Mandela Peace Summit at UN General Assembly

Paving the way to the debate at the UN General Assembly, Nelson Mandela Peace Summit marked the centenary of the birth of South Africa’s first democratically-elected President and global civil rights icon. Member States are expected to adopt a historic Political Declaration declaring 2019-2028 the “Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace,” and calling on all world leaders to “redouble efforts to pursue international peace and security, development and human rights”.

“Mandela embodied the United Nations values. His ideal was a world in which all people live together in equality and harmony. He was global citizen whose legacy must continue to guide us” – said Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General.

“Meanwhile much has been done to ensure that the world would never go to war with itself again, the organisation faces more intricate challenges. Over the past seven decades, millions of people worldwide have been killed. Of these, women and children continue to bear a disproportionate burden of these troubles”, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

 

 

France proposes sanctions against Tripoli militias

At  the U.N. Security Council France proposes to implement sanctions on militias involved in ongoing clashes between rival factions Tripoli, which has undermined U.N. efforts to hold elections in Libya by year-end to unite the  country.

More than hundred people have been killed and 400 injured in hostilities between the Seventh Brigade, or Kaniyat, from Tarhouna, a town 65 km southeast of Tripoli, against the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades (TRB) and the Nawasi, two of the capital’s largest armed groups.

Tripoli and western Libya are lead by a U.N.-backed government mainly supported by armed groups, while Eastern Libya is controlled by a rival administration, supported by Tobruk Parliament.

“In the face of the worsening security situation in Tripoli, there is a responsibility to support the Libyans and that means we must be tougher on those that want to keep the status quo for their benefits,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said reporters ahead of a meeting hosted by France on Libya on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

In 2013, France opened an investigation into the allegations after French news website Mediapart published reports following the claims by Franco-Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine. Takieddine alleged he transferred €5 million from Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi to the head of Sarkozy’s campaign  –  Claude Gueant.

EU expects Arab League aid in handling migration

On 19 September the heads of state or government met for an informal working dinner on migration in Salzburg, Austria. Leaders discussed the latest developments in this area. They took note that the number of irregular arrivals has been reduced and is now even lower than in the years before the crisis.

The heads of state or government also agreed to strengthen cooperation with third countries, including Egypt.

Together with chancellor Kurz we have started a dialogue with the Egyptian President and now we can say that there is a backing from the European Council for this and similar dialogues” said president of the EU Council Donald Tusk, who will meet President Al Sisi in September to take the cooperation forward. In this context, the leaders also agreed to organise a summit with the League of Arab States in February 2019.

 

Tanzania freezes family planning ads

Tanzania has suspended broadcasting of family planning ads  of U.S.-funded project, a health ministry letter said, a fortnight after President John Magufuli pointed out family planning was for those “too lazy to take care of their children.

The ministry intends to revise the contents of all your ongoing radio and TV spots for family planning, thus I request you to stop with immediate effect airing and publishing any family planning contents in any media channels until further notice,” the letter, dated September 19, said.

“If you cannot work then opt for family planning but if you can work hard why family planning?” he said.

“Let me tell you in front of the minister of health who is always advocating for family planning, go to farm, work hard … if you have enough food then give birth as you can,” he said during a tour in central Tanzania’s Simiyu region.

 

Black magic hits illegal migrants

Black magicians became an integral part of illegal migration business, encouraging migrants with enchanting rituals to gamble their lives, attempting to reach Europe, crossing Sahara desert and Mediterranean sea. However it is unclear if the attempts to neutralize  their efforts with counter-magic brought any fruit. Some believe the curse will work as an effective measure against human trafficking, the others relay on traditional fences and guards.

Earlier this year Oba Ewuare II, leader of the historic Kingdom of Benin in southern Nigeria, invoked curses on anyone who used witchcraft to help illegal migration. In spite of hopes the measure did not bring a striking difference in number of arrivals of illegal migrants.

The generous EU funds allocated to Maghreb countries in attempt to protect EU borders from flows of illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa clearly indicate the limited effects of voodoo curse, flavoring regular fences and guards. In September the Kingdom of Morocco received $275 million EU aid to strengthen border protection.

 

 

EU towards “new partnership” with Africa

‘To speak of the future, one must speak of Africa – Europe’s twin continent.
Africa is the future: By 2050, Africa’s population will number 2.5 billion. One in four people on earth will be African” – said Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission in his 2018 State of Union speech.

“We need to invest more in our relationship with the nations of this great and noble continent. And we have to stop seeing this relationship through the sole prism of development aid. Such an approach is beyond inadequate, humiliatingly so.
Africa does not need charity, it needs true and fair partnerships. And Europe needs this partnership just as much.
“In preparing my speech today, I spoke to my African friends, notably Paul Kagame, the Chairperson of the African Union. We agreed that donor-recipient relations are a thing of the past. We agreed that reciprocal commitments are the way forward. We want to build a new partnership with Africa.

“Today, we are proposing a new Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs between Europe and Africa. This Alliance – as we envision it – would help create up to 10 million jobs in Africa in the next 5 years alone. We want to create a framework that brings more private investment to Africa. We are not starting from scratch: our External Investment Plan, launched two years ago, will mobilise over €44 billion in both the public and private investment. Alone the projects already in the pipeline will unlock €24 billion.
We want to focus our investment where it matters the most. By 2020, the EU will have supported 35,000 African students and researchers with our Erasmus programme. By 2027, this figure should reach 105,000.

“Trade between Africa and Europe is not insignificant. 36% of Africa’s trade is with the European Union. This compares to 16% for China and 6% for the United States. But this is not enough. I believe we should develop the numerous European-African trade agreements into a continent-to continent free trade agreement, as an economic partnership between equals”.

EU and Germany help Niger to cope with migrant flows

The European Union, through the EU Trust Fund for Africa, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) co-finance a project in Niger which helps local authorities identify development and infrastructure measures and strengthen their capacity to better address the consequences of migration. More than 150 000 people will benefit from better access to basic services which will also create 1 500 jobs.

Launched in 2017, with a budget of EUR 28.5 million, the project “Programme: Améliorer la gestion des défis migratoires” (ProGEM) has been cooperating with 20 local authorities along the main migratory routes.

The city of Agadez is a transit route for passing migrants and hosts at the same time young Nigeriens who are looking for a job as well as returning migrants from countries such as Algeria or Libya. More than 300,000 people pass through Agadez every year.

There are considerable social, economic and administrative challenges. According to the vice-president of Agadez Regional Council, Aklou Sidi Sidi, “the demand for water, medical care, education and sanitation is high and continuing to rise. This is one of the main consequences of the migration we are faced with here in Agadez, in the north of the country”. Unemployment drives young Nigeriens to migrate or get involved in smuggling activities. “The key is economic development and job creation in our towns”, Mr Aklou stresses.

“ProGEM is always there to help. It helps us develop our own expertise and draw up and implement appropriate measures, both social and in terms of infrastructure”, says Mr Alhousseini Hamodi, the mayor of Tchintabaraden district.

Thanks to ProGEM the municipality could identify the most affected areas. And the project is currently building and extending 10 healthcare centres and hospitals, 10 drinking water supply systems and standpipe networks, 5 markets and commercial infrastructures, 15 toilet blocks and 11 classrooms in the regions of Agadez, Tahoua and Zinder.

« Older Entries