Tag Archives: Terrorism

EU welcomes Chad death penalty abolilition

On May 20, Chad adopted a new anti-terrorism law that no longer includes the death penalty for terrorism-related crimes, with life imprisonment as the maximum sentence. With this law, Chad has become the 22nd African state to abolish the death penalty for all crimes in law.

It is a strong signal to other countries in the world and contributes to the gradual abolition of the death penalty in Africa. 80% of the member states of the African Union are already abolitionist by law or apply a moratorium” reads the statement of the spokesperson of the European External Action Service.

“The European Union strongly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances.

“The Chad decision is also a step towards harmonizing the G5 Sahel’s legal framework in the fight against terrorism. In their Joint Declaration of 28 April 2020, the members of the European Council and the member states of the G5 Sahel stressed the importance of ensuring respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the conduct of their actions”.

Image: Chad army celebrating victory of military operation

MEPs criticise Nigeria and Burundi

16.01.2020 Strasbourg The European Parliament adopted two resolutions on monitoring respect to the human rights and rule of law situation in Nigeria and Burundi.

Nigeria

Following the recent terrorist attacks in the country, the European Parliament strongly condemns the repeated violations of human rights and international and humanitarian law, ‘’whether based on religion or ethnicity’’. MEPs urge the Nigerian authorities to guarantee respect for human rights and to protect the civilian population from terrorism and violence. The fight against impunity is fundamental to the stability of the country and to building lasting peace, MEPs say.

The situation in Nigeria has significantly deteriorated over the last few years, posing a serious threat to international and regional security. Recent killings are part of a wider series of terrorist acts, including the attack on 24 December 2019 on a village near Chibok that resulted in the death of seven villagers and the kidnapping of a teenage girl.

The text was adopted by show of hands. For more details, the full resolution will be available here (16.01.2020).

Burundi

MEPs strongly condemn the current restrictions on freedom of expression in Burundi, including the limitations placed on public freedom, large-scale violations of human rights, the intimidation and arbitrary arrests of journalists and broadcast bans. They recall that Burundi is bound by the human rights clause of the Cotonou agreement and therefore urge the country’s authorities to immediately revert this abusive trend and to uphold its human rights obligations.

Civil society and journalists play a vital role in a democratic society, MEPs say, particularly in the context of upcoming elections in Burundi. The European Parliament calls on the Burundian authorities to stop intimidating, harassing, and arbitrarily arresting journalists, human rights activists and members of the opposition, including those returning from exile.

Image above: MEP Assita KANKO, Strasbourg Plenary.

Burkina-Faso mourns victims of jihad

Thirty-five civilians, including 31 women, were killed on Tuesday in a jihadist attack in Arbinda, in the north of Burkina Faso, one of the deadliest tolls in the history of this Sahel country, which declared 48 hours of national mourning. Four soldiers and three gendarmes also perished, and “80 terrorists” and seven members of security forces were killed, according to the president and the staff of the Burkinabè armies, who had announced the attack earlier in a statement.

It is the Burkinabè president Roch Kaboré in person, who has often been criticized for his lack of grip in the face of terrorist groups, who announced on Twitter the macabre record of this “barbaric attack”.
    
He praised the “commitment and bravery” of the Defense and Security Forces, which “repelled the attack on the Arbinda detachment”.

On December 25 morning hours, “a significant number of terrorists attacked simultaneously the military detachment and the civilian populations of Arbinda”, in the province of Soum, according to the general staff of the armies. The attack, of “rare intensity”, lasted “several hours”.

President Roch Marc Kabore declared two days of national mourning in the west African country in response to the attack.

After several hours, troops repelled jihadists and seized a large number of weapons and motorbikes, the army said in a statement.

“As they fled, in a cowardly way the terrorists killed 35 civilians of whom 31 were women,” the government said in separate statement. It said 80 militants and seven members of the security forces were killed in the earlier fighting.

The incident followed an attack on a mining convoy in November killed nearly 40 people – victims of an Islamist insurgency that has ignited ethnic tensions and rendered large parts of the country ungovernable this year.

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.

Tripoli GNA obstructs Europarl debate

Anna van Densky from Brussels. As a result of the considerable diplomatic effort of the Government of National Accord (GNA, Tripoli) mission in Brussels, the public event with H.E.Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Libyan Interim government Abdulhadi Ibrahim Lahweej (pictured) posted by MEP Fulvio Martusciello (EPP, Italy), has been occluded. The Italian MEP initiate has been aimed at engaging in conversation with the Libyan top diplomat in search of avenues for peace in torn by conflict country, supporting efforts of establishing the meaningful dialog among rivals for political power.

However the GNA obstruction of the dialogue, reaching European Parliament premises in Brussels, opposing exchange of views between the MEP with the Minister, casts a long shadow on Tripoli administration, conforming the worst assessments of the experts, claiming the situation has degenerated. and the capital is overpowered by Muslim Brotherhood militia, imposing their ambition on Fayez Al-Sarraj, dabbed their “hostage“. The protracted devastating for the Libyans conflict serves primary the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, considered by the Libyan parliament as terrorist group, and subsequently the major obstacle to reconciliation and peace. (Image below: sign against Muslim Brotherhood in streets of Tripoli).

Te rejection of the dialogue between rival Libyan political centre undermines the position of the EU, so far supporting Chairman Fayez Al Sarraj, howerver this support by no means is la carte blanche for Tripoli administration policies and actions. The blunt rejection of the attempts to establish a dialogue is seen by experts and the opponents of al-Sarraj as his ultimate submission to Muslim Brotherhood influences, which further degrade Libyan statehood, depriving it of avenues for restoration.

The de-constructive position of GNA is also raising questions of viability of future conference on Libya proposed by the German diplomacy. But not only, because peace in Libya is essential for stability and security in Maghreb and Sahel.

Since overthrowing of Gaddaif regime, the terrorist threat in Maghreb has risen 300 percent, with a dramatic impact on sub-Saharan Africa, namely Sahel, where the EU along with France and Germany supports G5 – five nations alliance, fighting terrorism. The future head of the European diplomacy Josep Borrell has been atmost clear when stating that peace in Libya is key element for security and stability of Europe.

The dictatorial impulses of Al-Sarraj administration, establishing their power through exclusion of the political opponents, and occluding debate, as it happened in case of MEP Martusciello initiative, serve as the convincing evidence of growing influence of Muslim Brotherhood in Tripoli. which further degrades Libyan statehood, depriving it of avenues for revival.

AMENDEMENT: image on display Minister Lahweej at European Parliament, Brussels, 15 October 2019, @AlexandreLouvet.

Tajani reiterates call for Africa Marshall Plan

Italian Member of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani warned about growing inequalities threatening the economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa. The economic situation in many African countries has aggravated recently, impacting the security situation, gradually eroding social cohesion. The growing inequality leads to instability,  Tajani said. He underlined that the security situation in the Sahel can not be resolved without substantial improvement of the living conditions of populations.

As a president of the European Parliament Tajani has been a strong proponent of the large-scale European investments in Africa – Marshall Plan for “strong engagement against climate change, against poverty, against terrorism, against the war between African countries and for growth”.

During September Plenary in Strasbourg (16-19/9) MEPs debated statements made by Tytti Tuppurainen (President-in-Office of the Council), on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on recent developments in the political situation in Burkina Faso, Colombia and Kashmir.

This month Burkina Faso and G5 Sahel have secured support of the European Union (EU), Berlin and Paris in fighting terrorism. The cross-border joint force of the G5 Sahel was officially launched on 2 July 2017 in Bamako by the Presidents of the five Sahel States exposed to the terrorist threat (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger).

 

Trump and Haftar discussed need for peace

White House informed that President Donald Trump had a telephone conversation with  Libyan Commander Khalifa Haftar and discussed “ongoing counter terrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya.

The telephone call took place on April 15, Monday, however it was announced by the administration only by the end of the week.

Commander Haftar has double US and Libyan citizenship.

President Trumprecognized Field Marshal Haftar‘s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system,” the White House said in its official readout of the call.

 

 

EU condemns terror attack in Tunis

The EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn condemned the terrorist attack in Tunis,  committed by a woman (29) suicide bomber; who blew herself up near police vehicles in the center of the Tunisian capital, killing one policeman and injuring nine pedestrians.

The attack followed  a chain of terrorist acts since June 2015, when 38 people were killed in a shooting rampage at the coastal resort of Sousse  targeting tourists, while an attack the same year on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis left 22 people dead.

The terror attacks targeted Tunisia’s crucial tourism sector, which at times reached seven percent of gross domestic product.

The country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when an IS-claimed suicide bombing in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.

The state of emergency was extended earlier this month until November 6, amid a tense political climate ahead of legislative and presidential elections planned for next year.

 

 

EU pledges more than  €400 million for Sahel

The International High Level Conference on the Sahel, co-chaired today by the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the G5 Sahel group of countries -Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, – has mobilised political support for the Sahel region, €414 million to support the Joint security Force of the G5 Sahel whilst reinforcing the coordination of sustainable development efforts in the region.

Sahel presser

“Instability has many factors so our response must be linked and ambitious. Security and development must go hand in hand – on the occasion, President Jean-Claude Juncker said.  “To do so, we must continue to mobilise all the instruments we have at our disposal. The EU has doubled its support to €100 million to reinforce the operationalisation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and I am proud that all our friends and partners of the Sahel joined us in these efforts.”

Key decisions of the High Level Conference:

  • Reinforced political support to the region: A Joint Communiqué was adopted, reaffirming support to assist the G5 countries in bringing greater stability to the region. Important support was given to the Mali peace process: those that threaten the process can face sanctions.
  • Increased financial assistance for security: the EU doubled its funding to the G5 Sahel Joint Force to €100 million, which aims to improve regional security and fight terrorism. The EU and its Member States together contributed to half of the international support of the Joint Force. This new funding fully meets the needs of the Joint Force and gives it the means to improve security conditions in the region.
  • Better coordination of development efforts: with €8 billion in development aid over 2014-2020, the EU is the biggest donor to the G5 Sahel countries. The EU will play a leading role in the Alliance for the Sahel launched in July 2017. This new initiative aims to coordinate and deliver aid quicker and more efficiently in the most fragile regions and is open to all the partners of the international community.

The EU uses all its tools to support development efforts in the region, notably the ‘EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa’ under which €843 million has been committed so far. The EU is also a member and key supporter of the newly formed Alliance for the Sahel, set up recently to coordinate existing EU and Member States development assistance better and faster in the region.

In 2014, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger set up the “G5 Sahel” group of countries to foster close cooperation in the region and tackle the major challenges that these countries face – from extreme poverty, terrorism or trafficking of human beings, which has potential spill-over effects outside the region. Since then, the EU has stepped up cooperation with this African-led initiative to build a strong partnership on many fronts: from political dialogue, to development and humanitarian support, to strengthening security and tackling irregular migration.

The EU is itself a key security player in the region, with its 3 active Common Security and Defence Policy missions: EUCAP Sahel NigerEUCAP Sahel MaliEU training mission (EUTM) in Mali.

EU expects Libyans to search for compromise

A double attack struck Benghazi deliberately targeting the civilian population and healthcare personnel. The European Union extends its sympathy to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a speedy recovery.

 

Such attacks have not only caused many losses but further threaten, in an already fragile environment, the ongoing work to restore security, stability and rule of law in Libya.

All Libyans deserve to live in peace and security. The European Union reiterates its engagement and support to the inclusive mediation process led by UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé. As was underlined by the EU Foreign Ministers on 22 January, the European Union continues to work with the UN Special Representative to bring a lasting solution to the crisis, guided by the roadmap he presented, including in the framework of the Libya Quartet together with the African Union and the League of Arab States. The European Union expects all legitimate Libyan actors to rally together towards this goal, showing willingness to compromise and by putting the interests of the Libyan people first.

« Older Entries