Tag Archives: Josep Borrell

EU: Sahel needs more engagement

Brussels 15.11.2021 “The Sahel will also be part of our work today. Last night, there was another attack in Burkina Faso. 20 more people dead, killed. Our security starts in the Sahel and we had to engage more with the region” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, while addressing press at the doorstep of the Europa building in Brussels, where the Council of the Ministers of foreign affairs takes place today, November 15.

An attack by insurgents killed 19 Burkina Faso military police and a civilian on Sunday, November 14, in the tri-border northern region where the West African nation is battling Islamist militants, Burkina Faso Security Minister Maxime Kone said.

Gunmen have killed at least 19 gendarmes and a civilian in northern Burkina Faso, in the tri-border region where the country has for years been battling armed groups.

Security Minister Maxime Kone told state media on Sunday the toll from the attack on a military police outpost near a gold mine in Inata was provisional.

“This morning a detachment of the gendarmerie suffered a cowardly and barbaric attack. They held their position,” Kone said, adding that 22 survivors had been found.

There were fears the death toll could rise.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, one of the deadliest against defence and security forces since Burkina Faso was gripped by conflict in 2015.

Sudan: EU “great concern”

Brussels 13.11.2021 As stated in the declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on 26 October 2021 on the crisis in Sudan, the EU notes with great concern that arbitrary arrests in Khartoum and in the rest of the country are still ongoing and even increasing.

The EU urgently calls upon the military power to immediately release all detainees whom have been arrested since 25 October last. Equally, the EU emphasizes that the physical integrity of these detainees and the respect for their human rights are the full responsibility of the military power, and that they will be held accountable. It is essential for security forces to exercise restraint and respect the right for peaceful demonstration, with new announced peaceful demonstrations expected during the coming days.

The EU also notes with great concern that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (pictured) continues to be under house arrest and that his ability to communicate with the outside world is severely limited. The EU Ambassadors in Khartoum have not been able to meet him again after their visit following his release from military detention immediately after the coup d’Etat. The Prime Minister must be able to play his fully legitimate and indispensable role in navigating the country towards a return to the constitutional document and the Juba peace agreement. For this, he needs to be free to move and meet without condition or limitation. The EU therefore urges the military power to facilitate the international community to meet with the Prime Minister and to lift his house arrest, restoring his full liberty.

The EU also calls upon the military power to fully restore internet services throughout the country without delay. Free access to information for all Sudanese citizens is indispensable for achieving freedom, justice and peace for all.

Sudan: Borrell calls for restraint

Brussels 30.10.2021 “The military coup of Monday 25 October has sparked massive and growing protests that have been met with violence. In anticipation of the announced peaceful demonstrations next Saturday 30 October, we call upon all military and police forces to exercise restraint and treat demonstrators and journalists with due respect” reads the statement by the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell prior to the announced peaceful demonstrations in Sudan.

“The EU also repeats the call for the immediate release of all political detainees since the military coup and to respect their physical integrity and human rights”.

“An immediate return to the path of civilian led transition to democracy remains the one and only road to freedom, peace and justice for all Sudanese. A dialogue between all parties is needed to that end. We stand ready to support that dialogue and continue the support for the civilian-led transition”.

Sudan in turmoil

Brussels 25.10.2021 “The EU condemns the detention of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other members of the civilian leadership by Sudan’s military forces. We call on the security forces to immediately release those they have unlawfully detained. The actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution, the transition, and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development” reads the statement by the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on the current political situation in Sudan.

“The right of peaceful protest must be respected; violence and bloodshed must be avoided at all cost; we also urge communication networks to be open” Borrell has underscored.

The EU will continue to support those working for a democratic Sudan with a fully legitimate civilian government ensuring peace, freedom and justice for the Sudanese people. This remains the best guarantee for the long-term stability of the country and the broader regions.

Soldiers arrested most of the members of Sudan’s cabinet on Monday and a military officer dissolved the transitional government, while opponents of the takeover took to the streets where gunfire and injuries were reported. Soraya Ali reports.

Protests have erupted in the capital Khartoum, and other cities. Three people were slain during the demonstrations. Military and civilian leaders have been at odds since President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown two years ago.

Video footage from Khartoum on Monday, October 25, showed large crowds in the streets, including many women. Barricades of burning tyres produce black smoke rising in various parts of the city.

Guinea: Colonel Doumbouya ascends power

Brussels 06.09.2021 Colonel Mamady Doumbouya is regarded as the new leader in charge of Guinea after he headed a unit of elite soldiers seizing power on Sunday, September 5.

Announcing the military takeover, the 41-year-old former French legionary said the army had little choice because of the rampant corruption, disregard for human rights and economic mismanagement under President Alpha Condé.

“The president is with us, he’s in a safe place,” Colonel told French media on Sunday after the coup.

Dressed in a red beret, sunglasses and army fatigues, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya had announced earlier on Guinea’s state TV that “the Guinean personalisation of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people”.

Alpha Condé remains in detention while the UN, African Union and regional body ECOWAS all condemn the military junta ascending power in a coup d’état.

After meeting ministers from Alpha Condé’s government on Monday, the Colonel announced a new “union” government would be formed within coming weeks and promised there would be no “witch-hunt” against former officials.

“I condemn the seizure of power by force in # Guinea and call for the immediate release of President Alpha Condé” the European Union top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter micro blog.
“I invite all actors to act with respect for the rule of law, the interests of peace and for the well-being of the Guinean population”.

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
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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.

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