The European Union began political talks aimed at turning the page on hostile relations during Robert Mugabe’s era, enabling a resumption of direct financial aid for the developing economy.
At the start of the open-ended talks between diplomats and officials in Harare (pictured), the European Union delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Timo Olkkonen announced they aim to discuss issues including economic development, trade, investment, rights, rule of law and good governance.
The government has already signed up to an IMF monitoring programme where it has committed to political and economic reforms in a bid to set a track record of fiscal discipline that could lead to it debt cuts, and future financial aid.
At a separate event in a Harare hotel, President Mnangagwa signed a new bill creating a tripartite negotiating forum intended to assemble labour, business and government to shape policies.
The UN Security Council has called for an emergency meeting on to discuss the escalation in Libya‘s years-long power struggle, as a number of foreign powers urged restraint.
The president of the European Parliament called the EU to act in response to the decision of Marshall Khalifa Haftar (pictured) to send troop to Tripoli to neutralise the terrorists, and criminal gangs. The decision of the military commander Haftar is supported by Tobruk Parliament, concerned with further degradation of the security situation in Tripoli, and incapability of backed by the West Prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj to provide security in the capital.
Subsequently the West is gravely concerned with the fate of their loyal ally Fayez al-Sarraj, who is going to lose the grip on power, and the entire country would be united under the nationalist ruler Haftar, pursuing Libyan interest above all.
Zintan allies of Tobruk government issued a special press-release welcoming the decision of Marshall Haftar liberate Tripoli from terrorists.
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai – a poweful ally of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari warned “people from overseas” who sought to intervene in the country’s election to be held in little over a week would go back in “body bags“.
“We are waiting for the persons who will come and intervene. They will go back in body bags because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country,” said El-Rufai.
The governor of the northern state of Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai made the comments during a discussion programme on the Nigerian Television Authority when the subject of the international community’s role in elections was raised. It followed after an international reaction in support of a suspended Nigeria’s top judge.
“We have got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible,” El-Rufai added.
The talk about the role of foreign countries in elections was raised on the programme in which reference was made to concerns expressed by the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom over the suspension of Walter Onnoghen over allegedly breaching asset-declaration rules.
On Sunday morning, the peacekeepers were again targeted in Mali by those who want to spread fear and division.
The terrorist attack on a MINUSMA camp deployed in northern Mali caused the death of eight Chadian contingent soldiers, as well as dozens of wounded.
“The European Union extends its sincere condolences to the families of the victims, Chad, Mali and the United Nations, and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded. This attack also strikes the entire international community. Those responsible must be arrested and prosecuted” says the statement of the European External Actions Service spokesperson.
“We reiterate our strong support for those who work for the restoration of peace in Mali, such as MINUSMA and Barkhane. The European Union will continue to work alongside Mali in this direction, as well as with the other G5 Sahel countries – some of which have recently been attacked – to roll back terrorism and allow people to live in safety and harmony. The recent resumption of Joint Force operations, which the European Union strongly supports, is in this respect a favorable development.”
After the second round both candidates in Madagascar presidential election have claimed victory in the intense competition for power. The Malagasy people went to the polls on December 19 to elect the President. Both Ravalomanana and his rival Rajoelina ensured their supporters that they are the legitimate winners of the intense race.
“Thanks to the commitment of all the institutions concerned, the vote was conducted in a calm and orderly manner.It is now the responsibility of all parties, and in particular of the two candidates, to continue this electoral process until the inauguration of the new President in a climate of calm and transparency”, European External Action (EEAS) Service spokesperson informed in a statement.
“In particular, each claim must be dealt with by the means provided for by law. In close coordination with its partners, and in particular in support of the initiatives of the High Representative of the African Union, the EU continues to monitor the situation closely and remains committed to supporting the democratic process” the statement concluded.
The preliminary statement of the EU Electoral Mission, led by Cristian Preda, Member of the European Parliament, has been published.
The mission will remain in Madagascar until the end of the electoral process and will produce a final report proposing recommendations for the improvement of future electoral processes, in accordance with Madagascar‘s international commitments.
“On 14 December 2018, Mozambique became the 100th State Party to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), after depositing its instrument of ratification to the Secretary General of the United Nations. Over half a million people are killed with conventional arms every year and strengthening the regulation of international trade in these weapons, which the ATT is designed to do, can save lives around the world. By acceding to the Treaty, countries contribute to the advancement of the ATTs’ objective to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and ammunition, and prevent their diversion” the European External Action Service (EEAS) says in a statement.
“100 States Parties is an important achievement for the Treaty, which entered into force on 24 December 2014, but additional support is needed to allow the ATT to reach its full potential and to make it even more effective. Universal adherence would positively contribute to global peace, security and stability, and create conditions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“All 28 European Union Member States have joined the ATT and are pursuing its objectives, its universal ratification and full, effective implementation. All Signatory States should advance their ratification processes and all States, especially the major arms exporters, importers and transit States, to join the ATT without delay”
Speaking at the start of the UN conference in Marrakesh where states gather to adopt the so-called Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Secretary General Antonio Guterres promoted the initiative, insisting developed countries needed more migration due to their declining birth rates and aging populations.
In July all 193 UN members except the United States concluded the non-binding pact of a highly political nature. But since then, the text has come under scrutiny from right-wing European politicians who are convinced it could lead to an increase in migration flows, and the courts would lose the tool to extradite the illegal migrants as the difference between legal and illegal migration would disappear.
At least six European Union members – mostly in Eastern Europe – have shunned the accord. On Sunday, hours ahead of the conference, Chile was the latest country to pull out, while Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel faced collapse of the governing coalition, with resignation of his ministers.
Although depicted as an achievement, the Declaration continues to provoke criticism over its ambiguity not only from right-wing, but also from center right. The European Parliament did not adopt the Resolution of Global Compact in November plenary, the failure regarded as a blow to the image of the initiative. Subsequently the European Parliament delegation had a humble presence.
In spite of the ambivalence, and criticism the signature of Global Compact is a huge step forward to eliminate the concept of ‘illegal migrants’, and create a world without borders.