Category Archives: NEWS

French soldiers killed in Mali

“This morning two French soldiers lost their lives, and a third was wounded in Mali. The European Union extends its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to France. We reiterate our support for the French forces of Operation Barkhane for their efforts in favor of the security of Mali and the Sahel region”

“The European Union will continue to work alongside the Sahel countries and the international community to support the peace, stability and development of Mali and the entire Sahel region, particularly in the framework of the G5 Sahel initiative” – says the statement of the European External Action Service.

ORIGINAL: Ce matin deux soldats français ont perdu la vie, et un troisième a été blessé au Mali.

L’Union Européenne présente ses sincères condoléances aux familles des victimes et à la France. Nous réitérons notre soutien aux forces françaises de l’Opération Barkhane pour leurs efforts en faveur de la sécurité du Mali et de la région du Sahel. L’Union Européenne continuera à travailler aux côtés des pays du Sahel et de la communauté internationale pour soutenir la paix, la stabilité et le développement du Mali et de toute la région du Sahel, notamment dans le cadre de l’initiative G5 Sahel.

Cyril Ramaphosa presidency inspires hopes

Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected as South Africa’s President in a parliamentary vote on Thursday (15.02.2018) after scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma resigned on orders from the ruling African National Congress.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4% putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4 percent, putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations, Reuters agency reports.

However the question remains how Cyril Ramaphosa – the closest ally of plagued with corruption accusations Jacob Zuma, – will change the existing practices and put and “drain the swamp” if he has been for a part of the system.

Tributes paid to late Morgan Tsvangirai

Zimbabwe government is ready to foot the bill for the funeral arrangements of Morgan Tsvangirai (65) in a tribute to the opposition leader a spokesman said.

Tsvangirai’s died on Wednesday (14.02.2018) in a South African hospital, leaving the Movement for Democratic Change party without leadership just three months after the army coup ousted his life-long opponent – Zimbabwe’s  ruler Robert Mugabe (93).

“The Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria has been instructed to help in any way appropriate in the circumstances, including assuming the costs that are attendant to the proper handling of the body of the late (Tsvangirai),” said George Charamba, who is also the presidential spokesman.

Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has made no public statement yet on the former trade union leader’s death but postponed a trip to Bulawayo in the south of Zimbabwe due to other “pressing commitments”, the state-owned Herald newspaper said.

President Zuma reluctant to step down

South Africa President Jacob Zuma said to SABC news that he had offered to go after June, but objected to the way the issue has been handled, underlining that he was not defying the African National Congress (ANC) party, but he disagreed with its decision to ask him to resign.

“It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised,” Mr.Zuma said. “Nobody has ever provided the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done.”

Mr Zuma’s decision to keep a grip on power has put him at odds with South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader and his expected successor.

Hawks police arrests Zuma’s allies

The raid by the Hawks police unit on the family home of the Guptas have been launched day after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ordered Zuma to step down as head of state after nine years in office dogged by scandal and a stagnant economy.

A dozen heavily armed tactical police blocked off a street leading to the Gupta home in Johannesburg. Police  regards the place as a “crime scene”.

Zuma and the Guptas – a family the Indian-born mogul – deny any wrongdoing. However a Gupta brother and a business associate have been arrested by the Hawks. Other family members have agreed to hand themselves over to police.

The Hawks arrested members of the family who they consider to be flight risks. According to different sources recently Atul Gupta became the seventh-wealthiest person in South Africa, with an estimated net worth of more than USD700 million.

President Zuma tries to win time

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has formally asked President Jacob Zuma to resign, according to senior party officials.

The decision to “recall” him “urgently” followed ANC marathon talks on the issue.

Mr Zuma, 75, agreed to step down, but only in the next three to six months, the official added, fueling a suspicion he is maneuvering in attempt to win time, postponing his departure.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, has been dogged by corruption allegations. Current crisis is not the first one in his long political career, until present Mr.Zuma has been able to overcome all of them, and stayed as the head of state. Life at brink became his modus vivendi, further degrading the situation in the country lacking genuine political leadership and vision of future.

#Sahel: EU high level conference

The conference, co-chaired by the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the G5 Sahel, will focus on strengthening much-needed international support to Africa’s Sahel countries in the areas of security and development, notably through the G5 Sahel Joint Force. It will gather Heads of State and Government from the European Union and the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger) as well as high level attendance from other participating countries.

 

  •          The EU is a strong political partner of the G5 Sahel countries. High Representative Vice President Federica Mogherini has held annual meetings with G5 Sahel Foreign Ministers to strengthen cooperation in areas of shared interest such as security, migration, counter-terrorism, youth employment, humanitarian response and long-term development
  •          The EU, together with its Member States, is the biggest provider of development assistance to the region with over €8 billion over 2014-2020 and uses all its tools to support development efforts in the region, notably the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to tackle the root causes of instability and irregular migration and create opportunities for youth. The EU is also member of the Alliance for the Sahel, set up to better coordinate development assistance in the region.
  •          The EU is itself a key security player in the region, with its 3 active Common Security and Defence Policy missions; EUCAP Sahel Niger: EUCAP Sahel Mali: EU training mission (EUTM) in Mali.
  •          The EU supports concrete regional led security initiatives. The EU has already provided an initial €50 million to establish the African led G5 Sahel Joint Force which aims to improve
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