The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following up on the Council conclusions of 11 December 2017 and in view of the foreseen elections at the end of the year.
On 11 December the Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo following the announcement, on 5 November, of an electoral calendar.
The conclusions stress that it is fundamental, in particular for the legitimacy of the institutions in charge of the transition, to guarantee that the election date, now set for 23 December 2018, is respected.
“Afonso Dhlakama passed away in times of great challenges for Mozambique. He played a historical role in the process that culminated in the Rome Peace Accord of 1992 and was a key actor in the democratic transition of the country. Since 2016 Afonso Dhlakama, again, demonstrated great determination in engaging in peace and reconciliation talks with President Nyusi” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
“The EU extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Renamo President Afonso Dhlakama, as well as to all Mozambicans who mourn the loss of the leader of Renamo” – the EEAS statement continues. “The EU encourages the Government and Renamo to continue with their firm and sustained commitment towards lasting peace so that a comprehensive agreement can quickly be reached. The European Union continues to stand with and support Mozambique on the country’s path towards peace and prosperity for all its citizens.”
The European Commission proposes a long-term budget of €1,135 billion in commitments(expressed in 2018 prices) over the period from 2021 to 2027, equivalent to 1.11% of the EU27’s gross national income (GNI).
This level of commitments translates into €1,105 billion (or 1.08% of GNI) in payments (in 2018 prices).
This includes the integration into the EU budget of the European Development Fund – the EU’s main tool for financing development cooperation with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific and which to date is an intergovernmental agreement. Taking into account inflation, this is comparable to the size of the current 2014-2020 budget (including the European Development Fund).
Created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome and launched in 1959, the European Development Fund (EDF) is the EU’s main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs). The total financial resources of the 11th EDF amount to €30.5 billion for the period 2014-2020.
The European Parliament president Antonio Tajani send his condolences to families of victims of a Mosque attack in Nigeria. Already 60 people have been reported dead; and dozens of injured following an explosion in a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa State, North-east Nigeria. The blast occurred Tuesday (1/05/2018) afternoon while worshippers were holding Zuhr prayer.
The locals strongly suspect Boko Haram behind the attack.
Abdullahi Yerima, police commissioner in Adamawa state, said a suicide bomber had struck at the mosque shortly after 1 p.m. (1200 UTC) and a second attacker detonated a device about 200 meters (660 feet) away as worshippers fled. Bomb squads and security personnel have cordoned off the scene.
EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini received UN Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salame in Brussels.
The diplomats discussed recent developments and the current situation in Libya. They reflected upon the implementation of the UN’s four-point action plan for Libya, on the political talks, national conference, constitution and elections, that the Mogherini put forward in September 2017.
Mogherini expressed her thanks and reiterated the EU’s full support to the work of the UN Special Representative in implementing the plan and in his efforts to help Libyans bring about unity and reconciliation in their country.
Both diplomats underlined the fruitful cooperation between the UN and the EU in support of Libya and its people, including on humanitarian issues and the preparation of the national conference and elections.
The Spanish Guardia Civil in collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) from Nigeria and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), dismantled a Nigerian organised crime group in one of the largest operations against Trafficking in Human Beings in Europe. This particular criminal network was active across multiple Member States. The investigation began when one of the underage victims filed a complaint with the police; she reported she was coerced into trafficking by voodoo threats in Nigeria. The victims were transferred from Nigeria to Europe via Libya and Italy. Once in Spain, the women were kept in squalid conditions in cave houses in Almeria, where they were exploited in prostitution to pay off the EUR 30 000 debt they owed to the criminal organisation.
The highly active Nigerian criminal network was linked to the EIYE brotherhood, which is known for being one of the most influential confraternities in Nigeria. They operate in clandestine groups all over the world, funding the brotherhood in Nigeria through both licit and illicit activities, in some cases through organised crime and, in particular, trafficking human beings. One of the most important members of the organisation was a well-known DJ in Nigeria, who was arrested when he was returning from his country where he was recording a music video. His main role was to transfer the victims to Spain and organise sexual exploitation in several Spanish provinces. The crime ring transferred and laundered the money using the Hawala system.
Police officers carried out 41 house searches in Alicante, Almeria, Barcelona, Cantabria, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Navarra, Seville, Toledo and Vizcaya in Spain and Manchester, UK. The bank accounts used by the organisation to launder more than EUR 300 000 from the illicit activity have been blocked. In total the operation resulted in 89 arrests and 39 victims were safeguarded.
Europol supported the investigation from the beginning by providing analytical support with cross-match reports, funding several operational meetings and deploying one specialist during the action phase in Spain.
This year the European Commission celebrate on It has taken action and joined up efforts with to fight trafficking of endangered species in the EU and globally.
The EU has already confirmed its leadership in tackling the illegal trade in natural resources by adopting ambitious policies on timber and fishery products. This EU Action Plan demonstrates that the EU is ready to live up to international expectations and commitments, and that it is raising the level of its ambition as regards action against the illegal trade in wildlife. The bloc will also help to ensure that the significant investments made over the last decades through EU development support for wildlife conservation worldwide will not be undermined through criminal activities.
Wildlife trafficking has a devastating impact on biodiversity, threatening to eradicate some species. Moreover, it both creates incentives for corrupt practices and is enabled by them, thereby undermining the rule of law. Notably in some regions in Africa, it has a very negative impact on the potential for economic development.
Wildlife trafficking is very attractive to criminals, as it is highly lucrative and, in most countries it has lower enforcement priority by comparison with other forms of trafficking, so the risk of detection and penalties is very limited. Links with money laundering and other forms of organised crime, such as trafficking in drugs and firearms, have been regularly reported. The UN Security Council has acknowledged that wildlife trafficking in Central Africa is fuelling conflicts and threatening regional and national security by providing a source of funding to militia groups.