Tag Archives: MEP

Louis Michel receives death threats

Since the end of  2018 a prominent Belgium politician, Louis Michel  has been attacked by Congolese opponents and received several letters containing death threats, media reports. (Image: archive).

I have received several threatening letters, I have refused close protection but I am under surveillance, I do not want to say more,” said Louis Michel, the Member of the European parliament (MEP),  former European Commissioner and father of the incumbent Prime Minister.

The threats launch started on December 10, in Oslo, during the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, after which a dozen Congolese opponents of the Union pour la Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) movement attacked the politician.

During the month of December, Louis Michel again received letters containing explicit death threats at his home in Jodoigne.

The MEP complained and the case was taken seriously by the State Security who offered him close protection. As he confirms himself, he has not accepted it but he has been under discreet surveillance ever since.

Polls taken over the last decade indicate that roughly 75% of Congolese population self identify as members of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).

From 1908 until independence in 1960 the Congo used to be a colony of Kingdom of Belgium. The former colony adopted its name – the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1964.

 

Illegal migrants storm fences in Spain

A several hundreds of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa entered Spain after storming a double barrier between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Ceuta, with some attacking security forces with quicklime, police reported.

The scramble over the barrier is the biggest in Ceuta since February 2017, when more than 850 migrants entered the overseas territory over four days. Today around 600 illegals migrantes participated in breaking into Spanish territory.

At present Spain becomes the number one destination for illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat, surpassing Italy with 19,586 arrivals so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

A spokesman for the Guardia Civil police force in #Ceuta told AFP the migrants managed to climb over the double barrier, which is covered in small blades, early on Thursday morning, June 26.

They scrambled over “all of a sudden, with much violence,” and some attacked police with quicklime they had in tubes and bottles.

As a result, “more than a dozen police” were injured, four of whom had to go to hospital for burns in the face and arms.

“There is no possible justification for an organized, illegal, massive and violent assault on a border like today’s : 600 young and strong men have wounded viciously and used quicklime against  22 agents. All my support and admiration for the Guardia Civil” – wrote in her Twitter microblog Beatriz Becerra, MEP, vice-chair of the Subcommittee of Human rights of the European Parliament.

Spanish citizens are waiting for the reaction of government on this outbreak of violence.

AMENDMENT: Spanish newspaper El Pais reports total more than “800 illegal migrants from sub-Sanitarian Africa without documents” early morning hours stormed the border between Ceuta and Marocco.

 

EU sends observers to Zimbabwe elections

Following an invitation by the Zimbabwean authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Zimbabwe to observe the harmonised elections, scheduled for 30 July 2018. This is a further demonstration of the European Union’s long-term commitment to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections worldwide.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Elmar Brok, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Zimbabwe.

“These elections will be key for the future of Zimbabwe. The future president, parliament and local government councils will have the responsibility of steering the transition process in the country. Zimbabweans can count on the strong support of the European Union and of the international community. Its stability and economic growth are key for the entire region and for the European Union as well. I am confident that the mission under the leadership of Chief Observer Elmar Brok will make an important contribution to this electoral process,” said the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini.

EU appoints observation mission to Sierra Leone

In response to an invitation by the Sierra Leonean authorities, the European Union has decided to deploy an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Sierra Leone to observe the general elections scheduled for 7 March. This is the fourth time that the European Union is observing general elections in Sierra Leone, which reflects the EU’s long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.

Federica Mogherini, the EU top diplomat, has appointed Ms. Jean Lambert, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer:

“The elections of 7 March 2008 are a milestone for the democratic process of Sierra Leone. It’s a great opportunity for the government, the National Election Commission and political parties to foster transparent, credible and peaceful elections” , Mogherini said. “This year’s general elections are very competitive and the rule of law should prevail. Under the leadership of Chief Observer Lambert the EU EOM will make an important contribution to this electoral process”.

“I am honoured to lead the EU EOM to Sierra Leone. The forthcoming general elections will be another defining moment in the country’s democratic process as a peaceful transition of power will take place for the second time after the end of the civil war” – the Chief Observer, Ms. Lambert, said ahead of his mission.  “Sierra Leone has achieved progress in terms of democratisation and governance since the end of the civil war, and this election should further consolidate stable democratic institutions. I trust that all institutions and political parties will work together to ensure that voters will be able to express their choice in a free, peaceful and calm environment, with all sides refraining from any actions or statements that may incite violence.”

The EOM Core Team of nine EU election analysts arrived in Freetown on 25 January, and will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process to prepare a comprehensive assessment.

On 7 February, an additional group of 28 long-term observers will be deployed to Sierra Leone’s counties, ‘In this respect, the work of our long-term observers will be essential for our assessment. They all have substantial experience in observing elections around the world’ – declared Ms. Lambert.

In early March additional 40 short-term observers will be deployed across the country. A delegation of the European Parliament and diplomats from EU Member States will also reinforce the mission on election day. The EU EOM looks forward to cooperate with other international elections observation missions that have endorsed the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.

The deployment of an EU EOM aims to contribute to enhancing the transparency of the process, the respect for fundamental freedoms and will submit to the consideration of the authorities a set of recommendations to further improve the election framework for future elections.

Tannock: “cautiously optimistic” about Zimbabwe future

Charles Tannock, MEP (UK, ECR), member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament shares his views on possible democratic developments in Zimbabwe in the aftermath of Robert Mugabe impeachment. Although an emerging new leader of the country Emmerson Mnangagwa used to be Mugabe’s closes aid, Tannock does not exclude the changes towards democratisation in domestic and foreign policy during Mnangagwa presidency. Tannock claims the European Parliament has been always paying greatest attention to the situation in Zimbabwe, calling the government in numerous resolutions to respect human rights and rule of law. However a glimpse of hope for better future for Zimbabweans came with a new leadership, the MEPs follow with keen attention Emmerson Mnangagwa’ next steps.

 

Castaldo calls EU to support democracy in Kenya

Strasbourg. Ahead of  the plenary debate on foreign affairs, Fabio CASTALDO, vice-president of European Parliament (Italy, Five Star Movement*), warns about dangers of deepening of democratic crisis in Kenya, and calls for an intense diplomatic actions of the EU to ensure restoration of fundamental rights and further peaceful development of the East African country. The outbreaks of violence are of particular concern, threatening the stability, and multiple economic projects aiming at raising the living standards of Kenyans.