Tag Archives: Belgium

BOZAR: Black speaks Black

Five short stories present Europe from the perspective of the young African diaspora. A group of young, talented Europeans with roots in various African countries have dedicated months of their lives to this project by way of workshops, boot camps and studio sessions. This film expresses their loves, fears and hopes for the future in the form of poetry, rap, dance and song. Their exhibition will immerse you in the reality of the film EUphoria. You will become part of the film and follow the quest for who we are as Europeans and what we, as human beings, leave behind.

This project came about thanks to ‘Black Speaks Back’: A Belgian-Dutch non-profit organisation set up to empower young people with African roots through online videos. In this project we collaborate with Wanlov the Kubolor (Ghana/Romania) as musical director, co-writer and co-producer; brother and sister Robert-Jonathan (director) and Nohely (script) Koeyers (NL/Curacao); art director Bouba Dola (NL/Congo) and poet Susu Amina (NL/Somalia). We have also brought a fantastic group of young people together to conquer the silver screen with their own songs and choreography.

Artists: Emmanuel Owusu Bonsu, Christopher Daley & Susu Amina
Young participants/Collaboration: Robert-Jonathan Koeyers, Nohely Koeyers, Bouba Dola & a group of about 15 young Afro-Europeans initiated by Black speaks Back
Experts: Mathieu Charles, Emma-Lee Amponsah
Theme: Afro-European identity
Final output: 1 story / 5 films

Wednesday 9 May – Premiere (Hall M)

20:00 Premiere EUphoria by Black speaks Back + Q&A

Niger: new head of EUCAP mission

Frank Van der Mueren (pictured), a Belgian senior police official, has been appointed as new Head of the European Union’s civilian capacity building mission in Niger, EUCAP Sahel Niger. Frank Van der Mueren was previously seconded to EUCAP Sahel Mali as deputy Head of Mission and Chief of Staff since 2016. He has already worked for EUCAP Sahel Niger between 2012 and 2014.

EUCAP Sahel Niger was launched in 2012 to support capacity building of the Nigerien security actors. The mission provides advice and training to support the Nigerien authorities in strengthening their security capabilities. It contributes to the development of an integrated, coherent, sustainable, and human rights-based approach among the various Nigerien security agencies in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. On 18 July 2016 its mandate was amended to also assist the Nigerien central and local authorities, as well as the security forces in developing policies, techniques and procedures to better control and address irregular migration.

Frank Van der Mueren takes over from Ms Kirsi Henriksson, who had held the post from July 2016 to March 2018.

The decision was formally taken by the Political and Security Committee on 2 May 2018. The term of the new Head of Mission will initially run until 15 July 2018, the current end of the mission’s mandate.

Belgium downgraded diplomatic presence in DRC

Bertrand de Crombrugghe is no longer the ambassador of Belgium in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Belgian Foreign Ministry confirmed it on Monday (30/04/2018) after the publication of an article in the Dutch newspaper De Standaard.

In January, the diplomat left Kinshasa amid diplomatic tensions between the two countries, officially for “a series of consultations“. Finally, he was relieved from his duties.
When Bertrand de Crombrugghe abruptly left Kinshasa at the end of January, some had already spoken of a “rupture” of relations, however  the Foreign Ministry was downplaying the crisis. “This is not a reminder in the diplomatic sense of the term,” explained one of his spokespersons. Technically, it is a return to Brussels for discussions for ten days, he added.

Three months later, it was finally decided to call him back. The reason given is “the bilateral context”. In other words, the diplomatic turmoil  between the two countries, but not only bilaterally.  Kinshasa has announced the closure of the new Belgian development agency and  the EU Schengen house. Brussels also recalls that the DRC has no ambassador in Belgium for over a year. But the Dutch-language newspaper De Standard coming up with the news, points to a “breach of trust” between the ambassador and the Belgian Foreign Ministry.

Belgium says it is maintaining dialogue with the DRC and hopes that bilateral tensions can be resolved “so that Belgium and the DRC can again be represented at a level of ambassador in Kinshasa and Brussels. Meanwhile, the interim at the Belgian Embassy in Kinshasa is provided by Philippe Bronchain, former Belgian Consul General in Lubumbashi, where the Consulate was closed upon DRC request last February.