Tag Archives: Josep Borrell

Tigray: food as weapon of war

Brussels 30.07.2021 “Trucks carrying food supplies that could save countless lives in Tigray are being prevented from moving, apparently deliberately. Increasingly hard to avoid conclusion that access to food is used as weapon of war. It is the Ethiopian Government’s responsibility to provide access” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

United Nations Security Council resolution 2417 of May 2018 reaffirms that “using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare may constitute a war crime.”

The conflict in Ethiopia Tigray region has forced more than two million to flee their homes and left millions without resources, dependent on food aid. Deepening the crisis, Ethiopia’s government has repeatedly cut basic services to the Tigray region, including vital electricity supply and communications. These actions, together with the killing, pillaging, and rape, committed by all parties, has created a profound humanitarian crisis.

More than 100,000 children in Tigray are at risk and could suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in the next 12 months, a 10-fold jump over average annual levels, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday, July 30.

Burkina Faso: journalists assassination

Brussels 29.04.2021 “By assassinating journalists at Burkina Faso, terrorists have once again shown their cowardice and true criminal face: that of defenders of an obscurantism that destroys all freedom of expression and speech. Our full solidarity with bereaved families”, the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter micro blog, reacting upon news about the bodies of the missing journalists found.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed Tuesday, April 29, that two Spanish journalists have been killed in an attack in Burkina Faso.

“The worst news is confirmed. All our condolences for the relatives and friends of David Beriain and Roberto Fraile, who were murdered in Burkina Faso,” he tweeted, praising “those who, like them, carry out courageous and essential journalism from conflict zones.”

Spain’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, April 28, that two bodies found in Burkina Faso appear to be those of a pair of Spanish journalists abducted while filming a documentary there, although authorities are still awaiting final confirmation.

“The situation is confusing,” Arancha Gonzalez Laya told a news conference, explaining that she was in constant contact with Burkinabe authorities, who provided the information about the dead bodies, via Spain’s Embassy in Mali.

According to the experts, there was no doubt that the attackers from jihadists groups, prolific in Sahel region, in spite of efforts of the governments of the G5 countries and international forces to ensure security of the population.

The incident took place on Monday at around 9am, on the road joining Fada N’Gourma and Pama. The reporters were in the area, located near Arli National Park, to film a documentary on the government’s fight against poachers. The convoy was made up of two pick-up trucks and around 20 motorbikes, on which journalists, environmental agents and a military escort were travelling. The convoy left Natiaboani in the morning made a pause at distance at 60 km, when the Spanish journalists got out of one of the trucks and started operating a drone to take aerial photos. It was the moment when the attack began, according to El Pais newspaper.

Local sources cited by Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that two other members of the group, an Irish national and a man from Burkina Faso, have also disappeared and that at least three people were wounded in the attack.

Borrell: Sahel pivotal moment

Brussels 25.04.2021 “The security situation remains very worrying in the Sahel. One figure is enough to illustrate this point: in central Mali, there are two serious security incidents every day involving deaths and / or injuries. How to improve this situation that no European state would tolerate? How to sustainably consolidate military gains? Via a “civil and political burst” as decided at the G5 and Sahel Coalition Summit held in N’Djamena last February” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote in his blog.

“In the fight against instability in the Sahel, it is not enough to reconquer territories by force. The challenge is above all to regain the confidence of the populations. They want to see school teachers, doctors, judges . As much, if not more, than the military. ”
“In the fight against instability in the Sahel, it is not enough to reconquer territories by force. The challenge is above all to regain the confidence of the populations: they expect an exemplary State and access to basic services that respect human rights. They hope for the return of the state, everywhere and for all. They want to see school teachers, doctors, judges. As much, if not more, than the military. It was a central subject of the mission which took me in recent days to Mauritania, then to Chad and Mali.
“The Sahel is one of the regions of the world where the Union and its member states are most committed to peace, stability and development.”
“As already expressed on this blog several times (see here and there), the Sahel is one of the regions of the world where the Union and its member states are most committed to peace, stability and development. Between 2014 and 2020, the EU and its member states allocated 8.5 billion euros in development aid, humanitarian aid, security and defense. The Union has also deployed three Common Security and Defense Policy missions in the region. However, I had not yet had the opportunity to go there, my previous visits having been canceled due to the health situation.

“My trip this week comes at a pivotal moment. After the strengthening of the military action decided at the Pau Summit in early 2020, the G5 Sahel Summit (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) and the Sahel Coalition which was held in Ndjamena in Chad there is a few weeks, this time focused on the return of the rule of law and public services in fragile areas. It is also the central axis of the new strategy for the Sahel that the Council of the EU has just adopted. It is about this reorientation that I wanted to discuss with my interlocutors on site.

“The enormous challenges facing the region fuel the activity of terrorist groups and contribute to the development of drug and human trafficking. Threatening to destabilize neighboring regions and ultimately Europe.”

Borrell meets Niger President

Brussels 22.04.2021 During his visit to Chad the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell has met the President of Niger Mohamed Bazoum in N’Djamena, the capital of the Republic of Chad. After the talks he EU diplomat has issued the following statement: “We shared with the President, the analysis of the situation. I found in him very wise words, of understanding the situation, emphasising the need to guarantee the stability of Chad, and at the same time to return to constitutional normality as soon as possible. These two goals: stability, to ensure that the transition is going to take place in an orderly fashion and that this transition lasts as little [long] as possible and that this leads again to constitutional normality.
Niger’s role is fundamental. It is a big neighbour of Chad. In general, all the Sahelian countries are committed, all together and the European Union, also to help this transition, by guaranteeing stability and the return to normality, I repeat, constitutional.”

The President of the Republic, Head of State, His Excellency Mohamed Bazoum has been receiving the Vice President of the European Commission, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Political Affairs, Mr Joseph Borell.

Rencontré à N’Djamena le Président du Niger Mohamedbazoum
.
Quelques semaines après un processus électoral historique, l’UE réaffirme la volonté de poursuivre notre partenariat, et de soutenir le premier transfert démocratique de l’histoire du pays.

EU: Haavisto second mission to Ethiopia

Pekka Haavisto, Foreign Minister of Finland, mandated by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell, is undertaking a second mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Foreign Minister will discuss the situation in Ethiopia, notably the crisis in Tigray and its regional implications. Haavisto second mission to Ethiopia

During his visit, Haavisto will meet with Ethiopian authorities, and convey The EU’s continued concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Tigray, calling all parties to end hostilities and for the respect of International Humanitarian Law and International Refugee Law, as well as to allow independent investigations on alleged human rights abuse. He will also recall that Eritrean forces shall withdraw from Tigray. Finally, he will consult with the African Union to exchange views on the situation in Ethiopia as well as on regional issues.

On his way to Ethiopia, Haavisto is travelling to Saudi Arabia and to the United Arab Emirates for discussions on regional issues as well as the situation in Tigray.

He will report about his visit to European Ministers of Foreign Affairs during the next Foreign Affairs Council in April.

Somalia: EU calls for compromise

Brussels 23.03.2021 “Somalia’s leaders need to find a compromise leading to an immediate electoral process and a peaceful transfer of power, through the implementation of the September 17 agreement. The current lack of agreement seriously delays the pace of urgently needed reforms, for the detriment of Somalia’s citizens”, reads the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on the current political situation. (Image: illustration)

“When individual priorities prevail over the general interest of the country, political leaders discredit themselves to represent their citizens. Those who undermine the dialogue or resort to the use of violence will be exposed to measures and will face the consequences of their actions”.

“Somalia’s federal and Member State leaders must honour their responsibilities to the people of Somalia and hold Parliamentary and Presidential elections immediately. No alternative, unilateral or partial process will receive our support”.

EU condemns Niger attacks

Brussels 17.03.2021 “The EU condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack on March 15 that killed more than 58 civilians in Banibangou in #Niger. In this historic electoral period, the EU calls for social cohesion and reaffirms its commitment to Nigeriens. #AUEU” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

At least 58 people have been killed in Niger after attacks near the border with Mali, according to the government announcement.
Unidentified gunmen opened fire on four vehicles that were bringing people back from a market in the Tillabéri region. No group has claimed the attacks, which happened on Monday, March 15.
However, at present there are two jihadist campaigns in Niger – one in the west near Mali and Burkina Faso, and another in the south-east on the border with Nigeria.

In a statement read out on public television, the Niger government said that “groups of armed, still unidentified individuals intercepted four vehicles carrying passengers back from the weekly market of Banibangou to the villages of Chinedogar and Darey-Daye”.

“The toll from these barbarous acts [is] 58 dead, one injured, a number of grain silos and two vehicles burned, and two more vehicles seized” the statement concluded.

Africa: EU provides €100M for vaccination

“The EU continues to strengthen its partnership with the_African Union.Our actions speak for themselves: we provide €100M to @AfricaCDC to support vaccination campaigns. At global level EU doubling #COVAX contribution to €1 billion. We can only be safe together. #StrongerTogether” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote.

“We will only be safe if the whole world is safe. As announced in the G7, the EU is doubling its contribution to COVAX, the world’s facility for universal access to vaccines – from €500 million to €1 billion.
Deliveries will start soon. A true moment of global solidarity” Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president tweeted.

“We are providing €100 million in humanitarian assistance for the roll out of vaccination in Africa.
The funding will be used to strengthen health systems, ensure the cold chains, buy equipment and train staff” she continued.

DJIBOUTI: Borrell on EU-IGAD partnership

Brussels 20.12.2020 “The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) leaders are meeting in Djibouti today at a time when the region has pulled together impressively to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and a desert locust invasion. And at a time, when the stability of the region is threatened by conflicts, ancient border disputes and a diplomatic stand-off” reads the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on the IGAD Summit in Djibouti.

The European Union joins the millions across the region affected by the current crises, in placing their faith in today’s summit. We support all efforts to encourage dialogue and to silence guns.

As IGAD’s most significant international partner, we also hope that the outcome of today’s meeting will bring the region a step closer to finding a sustainable solution to the ongoing crises, in line with respect for international commitments and, in particular, international humanitarian law.

Regional organisations depend on their members’ mutual legal commitments. The solidarity that binds the IGAD Member States together is crucial for future decisive action”.

The 38th IGAD extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments has opened in Djibouti today, chaired by Sudanese Prime Minister Dr.Abdullah Hamdok, and attended by the African Union Commission Chairperson Mousa Faki.

The recent rift between Kenya and Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan, the old conflict between Eritrea and Djibouti, in addition to the Tigray region crisis, will be on table of the the summit of the The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) of East African Countries.

The Summit is taking place few days after the military operations of the federal troops in Tigray region of Ethiopia have been concluded, however the the unfolding humanitarian crisis is still going on, raising concerns of the international community facing urgent needs of tens of thousands of displaced, and refugees.

Ethiopia Foreign minister visits Brussels

Brussels, 24.11.2020 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell expressed in meeting with Demeke Mekonnen, Ethiopia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, “EU concerns on current conflict”.
The head of the EU diplomacy reiterated the call for all parties to de-escalate.

“The stability of Ethiopia and the region is at stake” he has underlined. In a statement, issued after the visit, the EU diplomat said that Ethiopia is undergoing “challenging times”, and expressed his “great concern” regarding increasing ethnic-targeted violence, numerous casualties and violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law. He also conveyed his analysis that this conflict is already seriously destabilising the region.

“I also discussed the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, in Ethiopia and in the region, notably in Sudan. International Humanitarian Law needs to be upheld. On behalf of the EU, I have called for safe and free movement and protection of civilians, vulnerable groups and IDPs”, Borrell has underlined.

“The message of the EU is clear: we call on all parties to put in place the conditions that will facilitate unimpeded access to people in need, the cessation of hostilities, the non-interference of any external party, and the freedom of the media. Engagement with the High-Level Envoys appointed by the Chair of the African Union should open the door for a dialogue that is the only way forward to avoid further destabilisation”.

The Ethiopian high diplomat has also visited Rome, where he had talks with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

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