Tag Archives: Italy

DRC: Italy investigators head to Goma

An investigation Italian Carabinieri unit is expected in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today, February 23, to establish the facts of the assassination of the Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio. The mission will be accomplished with the support of the Congolese authorities and the United Nations Mission in Congo.
The remains of Italian Ambassador and the officer will be repatriated Tuesday to Kinshasa before heading to Rome, according to local media reports.

Congo’s government has blamed the Rwandan Hutu rebel group known as FDLR for the killings, a charge they have denied. Congo’s insecure east is home to more than 120 armed rebel groups.

Democratic Republic of Congo has already dispatched a team to support investigators on the ground in Goma,the capital of North Kivu province, where the Italian Ambassador, an Italian Carabinieri police officer and their local driver were ambushed and killed Monday, February 22.

Rwandan Hutu rebels denied allegations they were behind the assassination of the Italian ambassador to the DRC and instead accused the armies of the DR Congo and Rwanda of responsibility.

EU-Italy provide aid to Somalia

“The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight arrived in Mogadishu from Brindisi, Italy, carrying humanitarian and medical supplies provided by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian civil society organisations and international NGOs. Two other flights to Somalia will take off from Brindisi in the coming days, with additional material on board, bringing the total of cargo to 42 tonnes.

“This EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operation will support the coronavirus response in Somalia with personal protective equipment and medical material. In addition, the flights are helping humanitarian organisations transport supplies needed to reinforce their projects in the recently flood-hit areas in Somalia. Given the urgency of the needs, the EU accorded utmost importance that these flights are operated at the earliest possibility,” Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said.

“This EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operation is a tangible demonstration of a functioning and efficient Team Europe approach, strongly supported by Italy. The Italian Cooperation has a long-standing presence in Somalia, and through this important joint operation, and also thanks to all participating partners and to the collaboration of the humanitarian hub in Brindisi, we can bring additional aid and relief to the Somali population” Emanuela C. Del Re, Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said.

The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights to Somalia have been put in place thanks to a cooperation between the European Commission and Italy. The flights are being facilitated by the Humanitarian Logistics Network and have been organised in coordination with the Somali authorities and the Delegation of the European Union in Mogadishu. The totality of the transport costs are financed by the European Commission, humanitarian organisations provide the cargo.

The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operations form part of the EU’s global response to the coronavirus pandemic within the ‘Team Europe’ approach, bringing together the EU and its Member States. The total Team Europe’s support to Somalia in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic amounts to around €55 million. This funding helps to strengthen the health system, support the economy in these challenging times, train health staff and reinforce social support systems. As part of this package, the EU just announced a €5.85 million development programme to enhance coronavirus preparedness, response, and mitigation for internally displaced people (IDPs) and people living in the most vulnerable situations in Mogadishu. This programme will be based on previous and ongoing work on long-lasting solutions under the EU Trust Fund for Africa that support the city administration to deliver basic services in IDP settlements.

Somalia has suffered for decades from prolonged conflict combined with extreme weather, especially recurrent droughts and floods. Against a background of widespread poverty, it is now also facing the worst desert locust infestation in 25 years and a rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak.https://twitter.com/fabiomassimo85/status/1279865042578616322?s=21

Florence African candidate Mayor

Antonella Bundu (49) – born in Florence to an Italian mother and a native of Sierra Leone father, she is the mayor candidate of the Florentine left-wing coalition that includes the lists Florence Open City, Italian Left and Power to People.

A civil rights activist, she has never been part of a political competition in Florence before. “My commitment was born in the popular neighborhoods of Liverpool in the late 1980, where I lived with my family and where riots broke out following the economic crisis and discrimination against blacks. There I began to actively participate in the political struggle, “she explains.

At the center of his commitment is the “struggle for an inclusive multicultural Italy, for the rights of women and migrants.

Bundu promises to undertake urgent policies to address the housing emergency for the most vulnerable communities in town. Among extraordinary measures to undertake, she intends to ask the prefect to suspend evictions for a year, apply an emergency program to purchase empty apartments at construction prices and block the sale of public real estate assets in favor of recovery and re-use policies for social housing and purposes. She is also convinced that homeless need a great deal of attention, offering them an opportunity to shelter in municipal residences, including address registration to open an access to the rights and services, starting from accommodation, to the basic income of citizenship and to an effective paths of integration.
If elected Bundu will also restructure mobility in Florence, improving public transport system.

Focusing on public housing and integrating the most vulnerable inhabitants of town, she is against the developed of a network of extra-luxury hotels or accommodations, attracting rich tourists, instead Bundu is eager to focus on defeating poverty, establishing multiculturalism and inclusion.

Di Maio attacks French “colonialism” in Africa

Italian Ambassador in Paris Teresa Castaldo was summoned after Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio (pictured) accused France of creating poverty in Africa by exploiting it, and aggravating mass migration to Europe.

If we have people who are leaving Africa now it’s because some European countries, and France in particular, have never stopped colonizing Africa,” said Di Maio said, in line with the the 5-Star Movement political vision.

If France didn’t have its African colonies, because that’s what they should be called, it would be the 15th largest world economy. Instead it’s among the first, exactly because of what it is doing in Africa.”

France has been manipulating the economies of 14 African countries that use the CFA franc — a colonial-era currency which is underpinned by the French Treasury, Di Maio continued his criticism.

France is one of those countries that by printing money for 14 African states prevents their economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees leave and then die in the sea or arrive on our coasts,” he concluded.

The critical remarks of the Italian politician did not pass unnoticed by French diplomacy, the third biggest network in the world after the USA and China.

Ambassador Teresa Castaldo was summoned on January 21 by the chief of staff of European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau, according to French diplomatic sources.

 

 

Libya remains in political deadlock

The UN envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame expressed hope for  another attempt to hold an election by June 2019 after he abandoned scheduled one for December this year, but he added that Libyans should first use a national conference early 2019 to decide on the poll’s format. Ambassador expressed himself at margins of the conference taking place on 12-13 of November “For Libya with Libya” in Palermo, Italy.

The diplomat announced the decision  to abandon plans of this year elections scheduled  on December 10 after a break out of violence, which has not come to the halt since the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi  in 2011. However it is not clear if the adjusted new schedule will go through after the rejection of the the major political rival of he Western-backed Chairman of the Natiional Accord Governemnt in Tripoli Fayez Al-Sarraj to take part in the tailored discussion on the second day of the conference.

Reportedly Marshall Khalifa Haftar aides indicated that the commander, in case he arrives, will discuss exclusively combating terrorism and will not attend plenary sessions on November, 12 focused on finding a modality for a political deal to end ongoing fighting among Libya‘s multiple militias and other factions.

The Conference on Libya is hosted by Prime minister Guiseppe Conte, whose chances of making it into a success are slim in absence of will to compromise between two major rivals – Al-Sarraj and Haftar, and lack of interest from the leadership of France and Germany, who did not attend the  event.

“It’s fundamental to seize this opportunity to back the cease-fire, to facilitate discussions for the realizations of new security assets in Tripoli and to show the international community’s determination to sustain the creation and deployment of regular armed forces and security forces,Conte was quoted as interviewed by La Stampa.

Tripoli rejects EU illegal migrants platforms

Tripoli rejects a European Union’s plan to establish migrant centers and it will not be attracted by financial inducements, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said.

Rejection of  Fayez al-Sarraj aborted the Italian proposal to organise reception and identification platforms for migrant processing in Africa as a means of resolve divisions among European governments over how to handle an influx of more than 1 million migrants since 2015 Italy hosted.

Libya is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe often on dinky inflatable boats provided by smugglers that often spring leaks or break down.

“We are absolutely opposed to Europe officially wanting us to accommodate illegal immigrants the EU does not want to take in,” Sarraj told German mass-selling daily Bild in an interview. “We save hundreds of people off the coast of Libya every day – our ships are constantly on the move,” he said, adding that Libya was being left to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean alone and needed more technical and financial support.

 

Salvini offers Spain to host more migrants from Italy

Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini articulated that his country is “no longer the doormat of Europe”, while commenting on repelled migrants transported to Italy from Libyan coast by Aquarius NGO vessel, and the proposal of Spain to host them.  Salvini also said that Spain can also host  “another 66,000” migrants who stay in Italy now.

“Finally the Germans, the French, the Belgians, the Dutch and even the Spanish are listening to us,” Salvini underlined. The minister said he would seek to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests are rejected and work on a plan for Africa featuring development interventions to reduce migrant flows.

Reportedly Salvini demanded the Netherlands to recall Dutch-flagged ‘rescue’ ships of open borders NGOs, like Aquarius, insisting Italy refuses to be complicit in “illegal immigration business”.

EU asylum reform imminent

According to French President Emmanuel Macron, the EU lacks solidarity and efficiency concerning migration. He underlined that the European borders must have better protection, whereas the mechanism of granting asylum must be unified. French president further pointed out that Europe’s response to migration crisis was outdated and reform was needed.

The meeting between the new Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte and the French president was jeopardized by a war of words following Rome’s decision to repel vessel #Aquarius carrying some 600 illegal migrants rescued in the Mediterranean.

During the press conference after the meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, French President Emmanuel Macron noted that talks of “axis” countries on migration are a reminder of “Europe’s unfortunate past history,” referring to the earlier remarks of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz that German, Austrian and Italian interior ministers form “axis” against illegal immigration.

As a possibility Macron and Conte offered to establish asylum processing centres in Africa, to prevent people risking their lives when crossing Mediterranean.

Migrants shipwreck at Tunisian coast

Coastguards continue to recover bodies of migrants drowned in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean on Sunday (3/05/2018), reportedly the boat had sank next to Tunisian coast.

Tunisian authorities said 47 bodies were recovered off the country’s southern coast, close to the city of Sfax, while NGOs presume there were more passengers on the crowded boat.

The coastguard and the navy continue their search with the support of a military plane,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo cautioning on Twitter that the final number of missing was still uncertain.

Meanwhile on a visit to Sicily Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said that the island must stop being “the refugee camp of Europe“.

The leader of the Lega Nord party said his government’s plans on migrants were not “hard line… but common sense”.

Salvini added that increasing deportations and limiting new arrivals would end up in saving lives, discouraging illegal migrants to take a risky adventure in Mediterranean waters.

Italy dismantels jihadist network

Italian police arrested five Maghrebins as part of  a major operation against suspected supporters of Islamist terrorism in central and southern Italy. Previously a teacher, indoctrinating children with martyrdom ideology was also arrested in counter-terrorism operation.

“A vast anti-terrorism operation” was being carried out by special investigation forces based in Rome and region, namely in the nearby town of Latina, police said in a statement.

 The five Tunisians detained are suspected of being part of a broader network connected to Anis Amri, the other migrant from Tunis who killed 12 people when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin (2016).

Amri was shot dead by Italian police near Milan four days after the Berlin attack.

 

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