EU diplomacy looking forward towards elections in Kenya

20.06.2017. Brussels. Today the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini met with Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya.

The forthcoming general elections in Kenya on 8 August 2017 were discussed. Amina Mohamed welcomed the deployment of the EU Election Observation Mission to contribute to transparent, credible and peaceful elections, while the EU diplomat confirmed the bloc’s commitment to be a key partner of Kenya.

The EU diplomat recognised Kenya’s significant role in hosting refugees from Somalia and South Sudan and ensured that the EU will continue to support Kenya in this respect.

Mogherini underlined that Kenya is also playing a crucial role in the region in terms of peace and security. The EU will remain a staunch supporter of this work  including AMISOM, the African Union peace keeping force in Somalia, in full recognition that a stable and peaceful Somalia is crucial for the security of the region and in view of a sustainable solution to the refugee situation.

As regards economic integration within East Africa and trade cooperation with the EU, they touched upon the state of play of EU-East African Community Economic Partnership Agreement.

The EU looks forward to a reinforced partnership with Kenya after the conduct of the upcoming elections in August.

EU observation mission to Kenya

In response to an invitation by the Kenyan authorities, the European Union has decided to deploy an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Kenya to observe the general elections scheduled for 8 August. Former EU EOM recommendations have played a role in promoting political dialogue and the consolidation of democracy in Kenya.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has appointed Ms. Marietje Schaake Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer.

The EU and Kenya are log standing partners, with 2017 marking 40 years of our cooperation. This is the fourth time that the European Union observes general elections in Kenya, reflecting our common work to credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country, since our political dialogue and cooperation strategy focusses on supporting good governance. This year’s general elections are foreseen to be very competitive and we are committed to give an important contribution to the electoral process through the Electoral Observation Mission led by Chief Observer Schaake (pictured). We expect the rule of law will prevail with all parties resolving any possible election disputes through dialogue and available legal remedies” – Federica Mogherini said.

 

I am honoured to lead the EU EOM to Kenya. The forthcoming general elections will be another defining moment in Kenya’s democratic development. Kenya has already achieved impressive progress in terms of democratisation and good governance. I trust the Kenyan people will express their political choices in a peaceful and calm environment, thus confirming the significance of democratic institutions. The August polls can further consolidate the democratic record through well-run, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections, with all sides refraining from any actions or statements that may incite violence”- the Chief Observer, Member of the European Parliament, Ms. Schaake (ALDE, NL), declared.

Kenya HR

 

 

EU for immediate release of Dr.Mudawi

“The EU closely follows the human rights situation in Sudan” – says the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“The recent presidential pardon of two pastors in Sudan is an encouraging step regarding religious freedom in the country. Jan Figel, the Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU, was able to meet with human rights defender Dr Ibrahim Mudawi in his place of detention in March 2017, yet the length of detention and delays in due process remain a source of concern. The EU supports the recent call by UN Independent Expert, Aristide Nononsi, for the immediate release of Dr Mudawi and of Hafiz Idris, another human rights defender.”

“Despite progress in the national dialogue, space  for civil society is shrinking in Sudan, as demonstrated by delays in registration of NGOs, and the arrest, detention and court cases of human rights defenders. All human rights defenders need to be able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities openly, free of restrictions and without fear of reprisals.”

 

Egypt new law to burden NGOs

Brussels. “The new NGO law in Egypt is bound to put additional burden on NGOs’ activities and restrict the space of debate and discussion in the country” – says the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Actions Service (EEAS) on the new NGO law in Egypt.

“It risks making civil society’s contribution to political, economic and social development more difficult”.

“Some provisions, such as the ones related to the registration process, the activities NGOs are allowed to perform and the procedure for receiving domestic and foreign funding, are also likely to directly affect European cooperation assistance to Egypt. Indeed, a large part of our cooperation relies on non-governmental organisations as important implementing partners.”

“A flourishing civil society, able to work in good conditions, is important for democratic and economic development and to help build political stability. We therefore expect the Egyptian government to fully implement and uphold all the guarantees stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution and in international law and standards regarding freedom of expression and association, and the Egyptian authorities to apply the new law in a way that does not intimidate, restrict or criminalize peaceful human rights civil society organizations and their members.”

“Egypt is an important partner for the EU, and we stay committed to strengthening our bilateral cooperation and pursuing a constructive dialogue in all fields of our cooperation.” (Photo: President Al-Sisi)

EU expects ceasefire in Tripoli

“The fighting in Tripoli on recent days has broken a hard-wrought ceasefire that had been in place since March. The renewed violence puts at risk the promising start to a dialogue aimed at fostering reconciliation in Libya,” – says the statement of the European Action Service spokesperson.

“We expect the  warring factions to restore the ceasefire. There is no military solution to Libya’s political crisis,”  – the EEAS continues.

“The EU calls on Libya’s political leaders from all sides to come together to resolve the conflict through negotiation and compromise, in a Libya-led process under the aegis of the UN.”

“The people of Libya desire peace and are hoping for the chance to rebuild their lives in a stable, secure and prosperous country.  The EU, working together in the Libya Quartet with the African Union, the League of Arab States and the UN, continues to support this.”

EU renews its support to Egypt

“The Christian Coptic community has been targeted once again in Egypt: dozens of worshippers travelling on a bus in Al Minya in Egypt have been killed today (26.05.2017). We share the pain of the families of the victims, to whom we send our condolences, and of the many wounded,” – says the statement of the European External Actions Service spokesperson.

“When religious communities are attacked, all religious communities, the whole human kind is attacked. The freedom of faith and the right to pray in safety are fundamental human rights and whoever violates these rights commits a crime against humanity,” – continues the EEAS statement.

“As European Union, we renew our support and commitment along the Egyptian authorities and the Egyptian people in the fight against terrorism and we expect those responsible must be brought to justice and held accountable.”

 

EU “committed to Libya”

The European Union (EU), the African Union (AU), the League of Arab States (LAS), and the United Nations (UN) met in Brussels on 23rd May 2017 to assess developments in Libya since their last meeting in Cairo on 18th March 2017 and further coordinate their efforts to advance the political process and assist Libya in its democratic transition.

JOINT COMMUNIQUE:
1. The European Union (EU), the African Union (AU), the League of Arab States (LAS), and the United Nations (UN) met in Brussels on 23rd May 2017 to assess developments in Libya since their last meeting in Cairo on 18th March 2017 and further coordinate their efforts to advance the political process and assist Libya in its democratic transition.

2. The meeting was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Ms. Federica Mogherini and attended by the AU High Representative for Libya, former President Jakaya Kikwete, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Mr. Martin Kobler.
3. The Quartet reiterated its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya and its institutions under the Libyan Political Agreement signed in Skhirat while renewing its call to cease contacts with parallel institutions outside the Libyan Political Agreement. It underscored the urgent need for a Libyan-led peaceful resolution of the political crisis and reiterated its rejection of the threat or use of armed force by any Libyan party as well as any foreign military intervention in Libya. (Full text at the site of the EEAS).