Category Archives: West Africa

Burkina Faso: French Embassy under attack

Diplomatis confirm assault at French Embassy and  Institute in Burkina Faso capital . The vehicles stationed next to the buildings are still in flames.

The “terrorist attack” has stricken Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, France’s ambassador to West Africa’s Sahel region said after an explosion hit the army headquarters there and witnesses reported seeing masked gunmen storming the building.

An armed attack is underway in downtown Ouagadougou near the prime minister’s office and UN roundabout, says the Burkina Faso Police.

Burkina Faso police director general says capital is being attacked by suspected Islamic extremists. Gunshots have been intermittent and helicopters are now flying near the embassy.

According to witnesses gunmen stepped out of the car, shooting pedestrians passing by, and then rushed to the Embassy building, there are military helicopters and army units, protecting the buildings, AFP correspondent reports.

EU supports counter-terrorism in Mali

Mali was once again the target of terrorist violence. Nearly 30 Malian and Burkinabe citizens, including several women and children, were killed on their way to Boni fair in the center of the country. On the same day, several attacks against the Malian security forces cost the lives of several people.

“The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and reiterates its solidarity with the peoples of Mali and Burkina Faso. We remain firmly committed to supporting the efforts of Mali and G5 Sahel in the fight against the terrorist threat and in the stabilization of the Sahel”- says the text of the statement of the European External Action Service, commenting on the terrorist act in Mali.

Image:  illustration – Mali women

Liberia “new era” after elections

The EU sends its congratulations to George Weah for his victory in the Presidential elections in Liberia as announced by the National Elections Commission.

“All political leaders showed responsibility in accepting swiftly the outcome of the elections. The professionalism of the Liberian Institutions, in particular the National Elections Commission and the Liberian National Police, was key,” – says the text of the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“The high and peaceful participation of Liberian people contributed to the success of the electoral process. These elections open a new era after twelve years of successful leadership by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.”

“The EU Election Observation Mission, headed by Chief Observer Maria Arena, observed the elections in close cooperation with national and international actors. It began its work in Liberia since September 2017, observed the full process of the elections and will soon issue its final report. The report will include recommendations for the strengthening of Liberia’s future electoral processes. The important role of ECOWAS and UNMIL during the elections are positive expressions of the role of regional and international organisations.”

“The recent presidential executive order will allow a peaceful transition process from the current government to the new one. The EU will remain an important and reliable partner of Liberia and is ready to continue working with the new Government on national issues, as well as on regional and international challenges.”

Millions stolen in Ebola epidemic

The Red Cross has confirmed that more than USD 6 million of aid money was lost to fraud and corruption during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Auditors found overpriced supplies, salaries for non-existent aid workers and fake customs bills.

The disease, which raged between 2014 and 2016, claimed at least 10,000 lives. It required a massive humanitarian operation costing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring it under control. As Ebola spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the Red Cross Federation in Geneva was dispersing cash donations to the national Red Cross societies in each of those countries – altogether a sum of about USD100 million.

An investigation by Red Cross auditors has revealed that in Liberia USD 2.7 million disappeared in fraudulently overpriced supplies, or in salaries for non-existent aid workers. In Sierra Leone, Red Cross staff apparently colluded with local bank workers to skim off over USD 2 million while in Guinea, where investigations are ongoing, around USD 1million disappeared in fake customs bills.

The Red Cross told that it is deeply sorry for the losses. The organisation adds that has introduced stricter financial rules, and promised to hold any Red Cross staff involved to account. The Red Cross is the world’s best-known humanitarian organisation, and this revelation will be damaging, she adds.

L’UE réitère soutien à la MINUSMA

La MINUSMA a été une fois de plus frappée par le terrorisme au nord du Mali. En conséquence plusieurs casques bleus ont perdu la vie ou ont été blessés. L’Union européenne déplore cet acte qui vise à empêcher la paix et la stabilité du Mali. Ses auteurs doivent être arrêtés et répondre devant la justice.

L’Union européenne présente ses condoléances aux familles des victimes et souhaite un prompt rétablissement aux blessés. Nous réitérons notre soutien à la MINUSMA ainsi que notre plein engagement à soutenir les efforts du Mali et de la communauté internationale en faveur de la paix, la sécurité et le développement du pays et de la région du Sahel.


EU calls Cameroon to act with restraint

Tensions in North-Western and South-Western Cameroon have risen over recent weeks, with a risk of further escalation.

“All the stakeholders need to act responsibly and with restraint, abiding by the rule of law, and to abstain from any acts of violence” –  says a statement of the spokesperson of the EU External Action Service on the situation in Western Cameroon.

The EU encourages the Cameroonian authorities to pursue their efforts to bring about sustainable solutions in response to the concerns of the Anglophone citizens.

Only an open and inclusive dialogue can lead to a solution which is in the interest of all Cameroonians while respecting the unity and integrity of the country.


MEPs to observe elections in Liberia

In response to an invitation by the Liberian authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Liberia to observe the general elections scheduled for 10 October. This is the fourth time that the European Union is observing general elections in Liberia reflecting the EU’s long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has appointed Ms. Maria Arena (Belgian, Socialists and Democrats, pictured) Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observation mission.

“Liberia has succeeded in establishing a functioning democracy after two civil wars. These elections are key in the democratic history of the country” Mogherini said. ” The EU’s Electoral Observation Mission reflects our common resolve for credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. I am confident the Electoral Observation Mission led by Chief Observer Ms. Arena will make an important contribution to the electoral process”.

“It is a great honour to have been appointed Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission in Liberia, a task that I accept with a great sense of responsibility. These elections are an important step in the consolidation of peace and the strengthening of the democratic institutions in the country. The EU EOM stands ready to accompany Liberia in this process,” – The Chief Observer, Ms. Arena, declared.

The EOM Core Team of 10 EU analysts arrived in Monrovia on 1st September. They will stay in the country until the completion of the elections and the finalisation of a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process, including recommendations for future elections. On 14 September 20 long-term observers were deployed to different regions of the country; they will be joined by an additional 34 short-term observers around election day.

A number of Liberia-based diplomats from EU Member States will reinforce the mission on Election Day. The EU EOM looks forward to cooperate with other international observation missions.

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