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EU diplomacy supports Sudan transition

This week the EU foreign ministers met with Abdallah Hamdok, expressing the EU‘s strong support to accompany the civilian and democratic transition of Sudan.

The European Commission is mobilising €55 million to help vulnerable people caught in humanitarian crises in Sudan. The announcement comes as at least 8 million people in Sudan are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 6.3 million not having enough food to meet their needs. One in six children is also suffering from acute undernourishment.

“As the living conditions of millions in Sudan are being strained by the multiple crises faced by the country, the EU is stepping up emergency assistance for those most in need. The EU welcomes recent announcements by the new transitional Sudanese government on its intentions to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Aid must reach all areas of Sudan, including conflict zones” said Abdallah Hamdok, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

Despite a complex operating environment, humanitarian organisations supported by the EU continued to deliver aid in Sudan. Since 2011, the EU has allocated over €518 million in life-saving assistance to people in need in Sudan.

All EU humanitarian aid in Sudan is provided only through humanitarian organisations such as UN agencies, NGOs and international organisations and is strictly monitored.

EU condolences to Burkina Faso

Wednesday, November 6, 2019, a terrorist attack caused the death of 37 people and 60 wounded in Burkina Faso.

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“The European Union expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and its solidarity with the Burkinabè people, now almost daily bereaved by attacks on civilians, the defense and security forces, but also the symbols of the authority of the State, as evidenced by the murder of the Mayor of the commune of Djibo and his companions on November 3rd.

“These attacks fuel a spiral of violence that causes large population displacement, undermines national cohesion and hampers development. The European Union renews its support for the Government of Burkina Faso, which currently holds the presidency of G5 Sahel. The European Union, together with its Member States, remains more than ever committed to the Burkinabe authorities and people, as well as to all the countries of the region, to respond in a coordinated manner to the current challenges of security, stability and development in the region. Sahel.”

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Semafo, the Canadian gold mining company said in an earlier statement that the attack on a convoy of five buses with a military escort took place on the road to its Boungou mine in the eastern region of Est, about 40km (25 miles) from Boungou.

EU for «inclusive government» in South Sudan

The ongoing contacts by the heads of state of the region to bring together President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar to enable the formation of a Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan, scheduled for 12 November, are positive. A functioning inclusive government is what the citizens of South Sudan expect and south Sudan’s neighbours need.

In line with the UN Security Council Press Statement 6 November, all the South Sudanese parties must now honour their commitments and demonstrate genuine will to build peace in the country. The composition of the Revitalised Transitional Government must respect the provisions of the peace agreement which provides for inclusion of all signatory parties.

“Realistic and sustainable arrangements and deadlines must be set for the immediate implementation of the outstanding pre-transitional tasks, in particular those crucial to prevent a return to violence, such as the security arrangements and the agreement on the number and boundaries of states. The government’s financial commitments to enable the implementation of these tasks must be honoured.

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“It is crucial that all the parties publicly reaffirm their commitment to full compliance with the cessation of hostilities agreement of December 2017. Leaders need to strengthen mutual trust and engage in good faith in the reconciliation process. 

“Once the parties demonstrate that their commitment to peace is irreversible, the European Union will be ready to provide further support in the implementation of all the chapters of the peace agreement.”

Norway crew abducted in Benin

Nine crew members from Norway vessel have been abducted by pirates while anchored off the coast of the West African country of Benin. The Gulf of Guinea is notorious among maritime regions, plagued by piracy. (Image: illustration).

The sailors on a vessel Bonita owned by the Norwegian shipping company J.J. Ugland have been kidnapped by pirates while anchored 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) off shore from the port city of Cotonou on November 2.

In a statement published in Norway’s Dagens Naeringslivnewspaper on November 3, the company spokesperson said it would not disclose the crew’s nationalities, citing safety reasons.

“The Ugland Emergency Response Team are handling this situation as per contingency plans, and they are in contact with relevant authorities.

“The families of the crew members have been contacted and will be kept informed by Ugland,” the company
The remaining crew members was able to dock at port with its gypsum cargo the same day.

The Gulf of Guinea, which extends from Gabon to Liberia, has been infested by piracy practicing kidnapping in search for ransom.

French solider killed in Mali

French soldier perished in Mali after his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, France’s presidency said in a statement.

Corporal Ronan Pointeau died near Menaka in eastern Mali following “the detonation of an improvised explosive device as his armoured vehicle drove by,” the statement said.

President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Pointeau’s “sacrifice” and said his thoughts were with the soldier’s colleagues and “his Sahelian brothers in arms, who are paying a heavy price in the fight against terrorism.”

The Sahel region became a battlefield between jihadists and governmental forces backed by troops from France and UN peacekeepers.

Pointeau’s death follows an attack on November 1 in the same region that left 49 Malian soldiers dead (according to the other reports 53 military and one civilian).

The offensive was claimed by the Islamic state group via their news site Amaq.

Mali military death toll risen

Daesh fighters in Mali have killed dozens of soldiers in one of the deadliest offensives against the governmental forces in recent memory. The the sources report two figures: 49 and 53 men perished in the attack, and one civilian.

It is possible that the toll will be even higher, taken into consideration the wounded, who have injuries ‘incompatible with life’. One civilian has become a collateral victim in the attack on an isolated military base the government said.

The authorities first reported the attack in Indelimane, in Menaka region, on November 1, but the initial death toll was lower.

“Heavily armed unidentified men attacked around noon. The attack started with shellfire … Then they retreated toward Niger,” the government spokesperson Yaya Sangare said.

Spokesperson also explains the death toll was not final because the bodies were still being identified, and that the army has launched a combing operation on the ground with support from international forces, including French troops and UN peacekeepers.

The Islamic State (IS) group said via their site Amaq news claimed being behind the attack.

Mali has been tormented by radical Islamistes since 2012, when the militants took over the north. With the assistance of French military, Mali’s army has recovered the territories.

However, the djihâd groups there did not abandon the idea to establish Caliphate, and they continued to fight against the governmental forces.

In a separate incident on November 2, a French soldier was killed in Liptako in the same area. 

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Brigadier Ronan Pointeau died after his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, the French government said in a statement. Brigadier is the equivalent of corporal.

It was earlier reported that 54 soldiers had died in the attack on the military post, based on a statement by Mali government spokesperson, Yaya Sangare.

Senegal anti-trafficking measures

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Senegal and the Ministry of Justice, represented by National Unit for Combatting Trafficking in Persons (CNLTP) and the Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Amnesty (DACG), has united efforts to consolidate the country’s first human trafficking case law database, the Système de suivi de la traite, known as Systraite.

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Senegal is an origin, transit, and destination country for the flows of migrants in West and Central Africa who are the risk group, exposed for various abuses, including human trafficking.

Forced begging is the most common way of exploitation, but also to the other forms as domestic servitude, forced labour in gold mines, and sex slavery. In 2018, 1,100 Senegalese migrants who intended to reach Europe were identified as vulnerable to trafficking in Libya.

Despite Senegal’s considerable efforts to identify and assist trafficking survivors, the country’s taskforce against trafficking in persons (TiP) experiences deficiency of data on survivors, crimes, and traffickers. At present the rudimentary networking and information sharing among local authorities and other means of coordination of efforts across Senegal are impaired.

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