Tag Archives: EEAS

EU committed to stablity of Ethiopia

“The EU is a committed and reliable partner of Ethiopia, and we attach great importance to the stability and unity of the country, which is crucial for the whole of Horn of Africa the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson said, commenting on the recent political events in the country in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 7 the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali made an announcement that the ruling party will stay in charge until next elections, while the election calendar was postponed due to sanitary conditions, and Tigray region refused to follow.

Africa’s second most populous (115M) country was due to hold national elections in August 29, and the incumbent Prime minister Abiy Ahmed Ali hoped would give him a mandate for wide-ranging political and economic reforms people are awaiting for long.

However the election board announced in late March that it would be impossible to organise the polls on time because of the pandemic.

The EU have been following closely the recent political developments in the country, and has “taken note” of the swift decision of the House of People’s Representatives to ask the Constitutional explanations of the postponement of the elections, the EEAS spokesperson ensured.

“We encourage and support the inclusive and comprehensive dialogue of all political parties at federal and regional level in order to organise the next elections in a coordinated way” the spokesperson of the EU diplomacy continued. She also underlined that the EU intended to deploy the EU Election observation mission (EUEOM) for the general elections, “in this context we pay special attention to the conditions of the organisation of elections throughout the electoral process”.

The events in Tigray region became a matter of concern after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) announced plans to conduct elextions in Tigray region despite of the federal government decision of postponemet. In relation to this decision of Tigray region leading political force the EU diplomacy “have taken note of the declaration of the Tigray’s People Liberation Front (TPLF) to hold elections in the region, the EU delegation of the ground in Addis Abeba has regular contacts with TPLF, and is seeking the clarifications on this declaration” the spokesperson underlined.

The EU diplomacy is also fully aware that the decision to hold regional elections separately from the general election has been debated in the country by legal and constiutuional experts, and the “European Union is encouraging and supporting the inclusive and comprehensive dialogue of political parties of both level – national and regional” the spokesperson underlined.

Citing the CVOID-19 pandemic as the reason for the calendar change, last month on March 31 the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) postponed indefinitely the legislative elections scheduled for August 29. The supporters of the decision, mostly from the incumbent government, have expressed consent, while the opposition condemned the decision defining it as a “power-grab“. They also indicated that the later date would not take into account poor rain season weather conditions and agricultural activities, complicating electoral campaign.

EU will not send observers to Malawi

The European diplomacy reiterated its call for restraint to political actors in Malawi.
“It is especially important at this time that all political actors should stand united in the defence of human rights and Rule of Law, and against any acts of violence, incitement or hate speech” the EU spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs said, quoting a statement of the EU Mission in Malawi.

On May 6, being “shocked” and “saddened” by acts of violence the EU Mission in Malawi together with Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States reacted upon the lamentable episodes, fuelled by political motives, hoping that those responsable would be brought to justice, following the transparent investigations in the frame of the Malawi law.

However the EU has no plans to send the observers for the possible presidential elections postponed to July 2. In general the European External Action Service (EEAS) has to re-asses the deployment of the Observation missions, but “in this case Malawi is not a part of the EU observation mission priority for 2020, the EU will not send the Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the re-run of the Presidential elections in Malawi” the spokesperson said commenting on the issue. She reminded that at present the issue of re-running of the presidential elections on the July 2 is examined by the Supreme court in the capital city Lilongwe, and the decision of the judges will “determine if the Presidential election will be or not repeated in July“, she added.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) had declared President Peter Mutharika the narrow winner of the May election with 38% of votes, followed by Lazarus Chakwera with 35% and former Vice President Saulos Chilima third with 20%, while four other candidates collectively received of 6% of ballots.

Since the announcement of the election results almost a year ago, Malawi has experienced a wave of protests across the country demanding the resignation of Jane Ansah, the chairwoman of the MEC for allegedly mismanaging the elections. The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) defended its managment of the process, being within the legal framework.

EU calls Malawi for unity

Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, The European Union, Norway, German, Ireland and the United States of America in Malawi released a joint statement on May 6.

They expressed concern over the violence which they said was fueled by political motives and led to injuries.

The development partners called on political actors in Malawi to stand united in the defence of human rights and rule of rule, and against acts of violence, incitement of violence or hate speech.

We support those calling for restraint and hope that all cases of violence are investigated comprehensively and transparently in line with the laws of Malawi, so that those responsible can be brought to justice,” reads part of the statement.

Recently, there have been acts of violence against UTM members in the Southern Regions. On Monday night (May 4), a UTM office in Lilongwe was also torched by unknown assailants and eight people sustained burns.

The violence is happening as parties are campaigning ahead of the 2020 fresh presidential elections.

Supporters of Malawi’s opposition took to the streets of Blantyre on May 6 as their presidential candidate presented nomination papers for the July re-run of last year’s election. The outcome initially returned President Peter Mutharika to office, but the result was historically overturned in a landmark court ruling in February.

Barkhane: EU reiterates support to Sahel

“… French contribution is making overarching contribution in the region” of Sahel said the EU spokesperson, while expressing condolences to families of two slain French soldiers in Mali recently in course of the counter-terrorist operation in the region of three borders.

“We have seen in Sahel the continuous deteriorating in the situation with the terrorist attacks on the daily basis targeting both military and civilians” she continued.

The European Union member-states are heavily mobilised in the Sahel with the commitment of more than €4,5 bn for 2014-2020 period.

The EU reiterates its strong commitment to the Sahel, and personally the High Representative Josep Borrell who has paid tribute to fallen soldiers defeating terrorism in Sahel. The EU continues to pursue contributing to the Security and Stability of the Sahel region, plagued by different militant groups, claiming their affiliation to the Islamic State terrorists.

Slain soldier Kevin Clément belonged to the 1st foreign cavalry regiment of Carpiagne (Bouches-du-Rhône). His death in Liptako on April 4 rises to 43 the number of French soldiers killed in the Sahel since the start of the operation in 2013, according to a count made from figures published by the general staff.

Borrell heads to Darfur

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell will travel to Ethiopia on February 27 to attend the 10th meeting of the African Union – European Union. His visit will continue with bilateral discussions with Ethiopian authorities on Friday, 28 February. Further he will then travel to Sudan, on Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1st March.

On Friday, Feburary 27 Borrell will meet the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed to reiterate the EU’s support to his political and economic reform agenda. He will also visit an EU-funded project that aims at Stemming Irregular Migration in Northern and Central Ethiopia (SINCE), as part of the EU’s concrete support in addressing economic and social challenges in the country.

On Saturday Borrell will travel to Sudan, where he is going to meet Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the Chairman of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan. There the EU dilomat will bring a message of support to the civilian transition. He will deliver a speech at the University of Khartoum, and meet with Foreign Ministers from member countries of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD). On Sunday Borrell will visit a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Darfur.

EU diplomats discuss Libya with Salamé

The extraordinary session of the Foreign Affairs Council, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, takes place in Brussels today. It will start with a discussion on current affairs.

Under this item, the Council will consider the evolving situation in Libya. In the margins of the meeting, ministers will be informally briefed on the same subject by the UN Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Mr Ghassan Salamé.

Libya crisis: Borrell hints on Turkey

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell pointed at deterioration of security situation in Libya as the major obstacle of going for direct talks in Maghreb country.

“… Heiko Maas, Luigi Di Maio, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Dominic Raab, and myself, we have not travelled to Libya as expected due to the security situation there. We were strongly advised not to do this travel” Borrell said to Brussels press after the emergency meeting with the Foreign affairs ministers of Germany, France, Italy, and the UK.

The diplomat confirmed the priority status of Libya for the European Union foreign policy, and the determination to engage in talks with “all relevant actors” to stop the deterioration of the security situation, aggravated by hostilities. He confirmed the readiness for inclusive communication “across all the actors in Libyan process” with both Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar. He also underlined there is no military solution for the ongoing crisis.

“Any escalation and also any outside interference will only make the conflict more protracted, bring more misery to ordinary people in Libya, exacerbate divisions in the country, increase the risk of its partition, spread instability across the region and aggravate the threat of terrorism” Borrell said.

Restoring operational elements to the Sophia naval mission has never been abandoned, and will be considered with the purpose among others to ensure surveillance of arms embargo, Borrell continued, underlining that the European diplomats called for strict respect of the UN resolution (2173) to built further Berlin Process, led by Germany to find lasting solution for Libyan crisis.

“I have not said that very explicitly but it is clear, to someone who wants to understand, that when I am talking about these “increased external interferences” I am making a reference to the interference of Turkey Josep Borrell explained. However Ankara has been not mentioned explicitly in the issued by the four foreign ministers statement on Libya, neither the EU diplomat make a direct call to President Erdogan to end his recent ongoing military operation.

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