[dehai-news] (Europarl) EU resolution on the situation in the Horn of Africa B6-0033/2009

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Tue Jan 20 2009 - 13:45:17 EST

7 January 2009 PE416.156
 to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Karl von Wogau, Filip Kaczmarek and Charles Tannock, on behalf of the
PPE-DE Group
Alain Hutchinson, Ana Maria Gomes, Glenys Kinnock, Marie-Arlette
Carlotti and Thijs Berman, on behalf of the PSE Group
Renate Weber, Marco Cappato, Olle Schmidt, Johan Van Hecke and Thierry
Cornillet, on behalf of the ALDE Group
Mikel Irujo Amezaga, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Cristiana Muscardini, Adam Bielan, Ryszard Czarnecki and Konrad
Szymanski, on behalf of the UEN Group
Luisa Morgantini and Eva-Britt Svensson,
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
on the situation in the Horn of Africa

European Parliament resolution on the situation in the Horn of Africa
The European Parliament,
- having regard to its previous resolutions on the Horn of Africa
- having regard to the report of the mission to the Horn of Africa
adopted by its Committee on Development on 8 December 2008,
- having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the unsolved border conflicts between Ethiopia and Eritrea
and between Eritrea and Djibouti are negatively affecting peace and
security in the Horn of Africa; whereas the situation in Somalia has
deteriorated into one of the world's worst humanitarian and security
crises; whereas the situation in Sudan is a major risk factor for
security in the region,
B. whereas Ethiopia and Eritrea ended their war by signing the
internationally brokered 'Algiers Agreements' providing for a UN
peace-keeping operation mission (UNMEE) and the setting-up of the
Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC), but there are still
differences between the two sides regarding the implementation of the
agreements and of the decision of the Boundary Commission; whereas the
UNMEE had to be ended on 31 July 2008 as Eritrea no longer supported the
presence of the mission,
C. whereas in June 2008 violence escalated on the border between
Eritrea and Djibouti at Ras Doumeira, leaving 35 people dead and dozens
wounded; whereas on 12 June 2008 the UN Security Council called on both
sides to commit themselves to a ceasefire and to withdraw troops and
restore the status quo ante; whereas the current situation is calm, but
given the closeness of the troops there is a risk of escalation,
D. whereas on 29 October 2008 a terrorist bomb attack on the Ethiopian
consulate and UN offices in Somaliland's capital Hargeysa took place,
for which radical Islamist militias claimed responsibility,
E. whereas a new round of negotiations in placecountry-regionDjibouti
took place in November 2008 leading to a power-sharing deal between the
TFG and the ARS-D opposition,
F. whereas the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), at a
conference held on 29 October 2008 in Nairobi with representatives of
the Transitional Federal Institutions and members of the Transitional
Federal Parliament, adopted a seven-point plan for supporting the peace
process in Somalia and established a mechanism for monitoring
G. whereas since November 2008 country-regionEthiopia has been
progressively withdrawing its troops from CityMogadishu and all other
locations where they are still present in country-regionSomalia; whereas
AMISOM (the African Union Mission to country-regionSomalia), which has
since March 2007 been essentially confined to placeCityMogadishu, will
now find itself alone on the terrain;
H. whereas the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia has
failed over four years to create a broad-based government; whereas as a
result of President Abdullahi's recent resignation there is a real
danger that rival factions may start fighting again,
I. whereas piracy is another major security challenge for the Horn
region; whereas the fight against piracy cannot be won only by military
means, but depends mainly on success in promoting peace, development and
state-building in Somalia; whereas as a result of piracy the World Food
Programme has had to suspend delivery of food aid to Somalia, worsening
an already precarious humanitarian situation,
J. whereas on 8 December 2008 the EU launched its maritime operation EU
NAVFOR Somalia (or Operation Atalanta), aimed at protecting maritime
convoys of the World Food Programme and other merchant ships navigating
in the waters off Somalia,
K. whereas the failure of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA) between the north and south of Sudan could lead to
secession, likely to be accompanied by military conflict over oil shares
in the border region; whereas such a secession would most likely lead to
a total break-up of the country, with Darfur and the eastern part
seeking independence and interethnic fighting, further fuelled by
involvement of neighbouring countries, including Eritrea,
L. whereas Djibouti continues to face enormous challenges and its
situation is becoming alarming in the wake of the world food crisis;
whereas the Ogaden, the Somali region of Ethiopia, is suffering from
severe drought and the government-controlled food aid intended for its
inhabitants is failing to reach them, despite the recent progress in the
delivery of food aid by the World Food Programme (WFP) in this region,
given that delays are still being reported thanks to the need for
military authorisation to travel in the Somali region,
M. whereas the situation regarding human rights, the rule of law,
democracy and governance in all countries of the Horn of Africa has been
of great concern to the EU for many years; whereas there are credible
reports of arbitrary arrests, forced labour, torture and maltreatment of
prisoners, as well as persecution of journalists and political
repression in the region,
N. whereas the majority voting system, highly unfavourable to the
opposition parties, which was applied during the 2008 legislative
elections, is a matter of concern in Djibouti, where the opposition MRD
party was banned in July 2008 on the totally unsubstantiated grounds of
supporting an Eritrean attack on Djibouti, while the leaders of the
UDT/UGTD trade union have still not been reinstated in their jobs after
being dismissed for reasons linked to their union activities,
O. whereas there is a climate of fear among NGOs and opposition
circles that government control has been increasing and political
freedom has been reduced by the recently adopted press law and party
registration law in Ethiopia; whereas the law on NGOs (the Proclamation
for the Registration and Regulation of Charities and Societies) adopted
by the Ethiopian government and ratified by the parliament could
seriously restrict the activities of the international and Ethiopian
associations which are working for equality, justice, human rights and
conflict resolution,
Regional security
1. Calls on the government of Ethiopia to formally endorse the Boundary
Commission's virtual demarcation between Eritrea and Ethiopia as final
and binding; calls on the Eritrean government to agree to a dialogue
with Ethiopia, to address the process of disengagement of troops from
the border and physical demarcation in accordance with the Border
Commission's decision, as well as the normalisation of relations between
the two countries, including reopening the border for trade; calls on
the international community and the EU to put pressure on both sides to
overcome the current impasse;
2. Calls on the Council to nominate an EU Special Representative/Envoy
to the Horn of Africa region;
3. Calls on the Council and Commission to continue their efforts in the
framework of the regional political partnership for peace, security and
development in the Horn of Africa in order to identify projects of
common interest which could trigger functional cooperation between
Eritrea and Ethiopia, e.g. in the areas of energy supply, crossborder
trade and ports;
4. Calls on the Eritrean government to reconsider its current
suspension of its membership of IGAD; calls on the AU and IGAD
leadership to continue to involve placecountry-regionEritrea and
encourage the government to rejoin the regional and subregional
cooperation efforts;
5. Calls on the Eritrean government to agree to invite, jointly with
the placecountry-regionDjibouti government, an independent fact-finding
mission to look into the situation in Ras Doumeira; calls on both sides
to rely on dialogue and diplomatic means in order to restore relations
between the two countries;
6. Calls on the Council and Commission to continue their support for
institution-building in Somalia, the implementation of the Djibouti
peace agreement and the IGAD's efforts in the peace process; urges the
reinforcement of AMISOM and the deployment of the UN stabilisation force
in a timely manner as soon as political and security conditions allow;
7. Condemns the ever more frequent attacks on humanitarian workers over
the last few months, which have gravely constrained aid operations and
have helped worsen the humanitarian situation in Somalia; calls on the
UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia to negotiate humanitarian access
separately from the Djibouti peace process, geographic area by
geographic area, speed up food supplies and alleviate the dire
humanitarian situation;
8. Stresses that in the wake of participation in achieving the
north-south agreement in Sudan it is now essential to continue all
efforts with a view to its implementation and to keep up the necessary
pressure; calls on the Council and the international community,
therefore, to step up their support for implementation of the
north-south Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan and to secure the
full deployment of UNAMID in Darfur;
9. Calls on the Council and Commission to continue their support for
IGAD and its efforts to develop an integration plan for the region, and
to strengthen its institutions;
Food security and development
10. Calls on the Eritrean government to cooperate more closely with
international organisations in the assessment of the food security
situation, in order to allow for timely and targeted intervention;
11. Calls on the Eritrean government to allow the Commission
unhindered access to the Commission-funded projects and to enhance its
openness to technical assistance for jointly agreed projects and
programmes; calls on it also to adapt the NGO Proclamation with a view
to easing the financial requirements for NGOs willing to engage in
development activities in Eritrea;
12. Calls on the Ethiopian government to grant full access for
humanitarian organisations to the Ogaden region of
placecountry-regionSomalia, and to provide all necessary conditions to
enable aid to reach its beneficiaries throughout the region;
13. Calls on the Commission to continue to support regional responses
to crossborder challenges through the EU regional partnership for peace,
security and development, and in particular the regional management of
water resources as an essential element for food security;
14. Calls on the Commission to verify that none of its assistance
programmes, including 'cash for work', are being implemented by forced
Human rights, democracy and governance
15. Calls on the Eritrean government to either charge and immediately
bring before a court of law all political detainees and imprisoned
journalists or to unconditionally release them forthwith;
16. Calls on the Eritrean government to fully respect human rights and
fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association, freedom of
expression, freedom of media and freedom of conscience;
17. Expresses its deep concern at the continuing imprisonment in
Eritrea of the Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak, held in jail
since his arrest in September 2001, without been tried by a court, and
demands the immediate release of Dawit Isaak and other imprisoned
18. Calls on the EU to reconsider its approach to Eritrea if no
progress is made towards compliance with the essential elements of the
Cotonou Agreement (Article 9), in particular on core human rights issues
(access for the ICRC to prisons, release of the G11);
19. Calls on the Djibouti authorities to protect the political rights
of opposition parties and independent human rights organisations,
including full guarantees of press freedom, freedom of assembly and
freedom of expression; emphasises the need for a meaningful dialogue
between government and opposition, leading to an adaptation of the
electoral law so as to allow for a fairer representation of existing
political parties in the parliament; calls on the Djibouti authorities
to allow the MRD opposition party to resume activity and to reinstate
all leaders of the UDT/UGTD trade union dismissed for reasons linked to
their work for the union;
20. Calls on the government of placecountry-regionDjibouti to take
steps to ensure better protection in law and practice of the rights of
trade unions in accordance with the respective ILO core conventions;
21. Calls on the placecountry-regionDjibouti authorities to make all
efforts to establish responsibility for the December 1991 Arhiba
massacre and to take out legal proceedings against those identified as
its authors;
22. Regrets that the Ethiopian parliament has ratified the Proclamation
for the Registration and Regulation of Charities and Societies; calls
for significant adaptations to be made to guarantee basic human rights
principles; calls for a non-restrictive implementation of this law, and
insists on close monitoring of its implementation by the Commission;
23. Urges the Ethiopian authorities to review the press law and party
registration law, as well as the composition of the Election Board, so
as to ensure that the political rights of opposition parties are
guaranteed; urges it to investigate the allegations of harassment and
arbitrary arrests affecting the opposition and civil society
organisations and to bring those responsible to trial;
24. Is outraged at the imprisonment of Birtukan Midekssa, leader of the
opposition party Unity for Democracy Justice (UDJ), and demands her
immediate and unconditional release;
25. Calls on the Ethiopian authorities to swiftly handle the request
for registration by the Ethiopian National Teachers' Association (NTA),
in accordance with the respective laws and rules, and stop persecuting
members of this association;
26. Calls on the governments of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti and the
Council, in accordance with Article 8 and Annex VII of the Revised
Cotonou Agreement, to jointly agree to deepen the political dialogue on
human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, including the
issues mentioned above, with a view to defining benchmarks and attaining
tangible results and progress on the ground;
27. Recognises that elections are due to take place in Sudan in 2009,
but notes that the amendment of the laws which restrict freedom of
expression and organisation for individuals, political parties and the
media, and which contravene the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and
the Interim National Constitution (INC), has not yet taken place, nor
has a National Human Rights Commission been formed; stresses that
repealing these laws and replacing them with legislation that is in line
with the CPA and INC and the creation of the National Human Rights
Commission are necessary preconditions for an environment in which free
and fair elections can take place;
28. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the
Commission, the Council, the placePlaceNameMemberPlaceType States, the
Chair of the African Union Commission, the Chair-in-Office of the
African Union Assembly, the General Secretary of the African Union, the
Pan-African Parliament, the Governments and Parliaments of the IGAD
countries, and the Chairs of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly.
nguage=EN&type=MOTION> &language=EN&type=MOTION

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