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close this bookThe Courier N 140 - July - Aug 1993 - Dossier: National Minorities - Country Reports: Dominica, Mozambique (EC Courier, 1993, 96 p.)
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European community

European political cooperation

Over the past two months, the Community has, within the framework of European Political Cooperation (EPC), expressed its views on various international events. These include the following:

29 April: Statement on Togo

The Community and its Member States have taken note of the timetable for elections proposed by the Togolese authorities. They do, however, feel that it will be not be possible to conduct a successful electoral process in Togo unless prior agreement has been reached between all political forces. given the tense situation which has prevailed there for many months.

These elections should really be held in a climate of peace and openness, and the inhabitants of Lome who have fled should be able to participate.

17 May : Statement on Togo

The Community and its Member States regret that the political forces in Togo have not so far been able to reach an agreement making possible the resumption of a free and open electoral process in a climate of renewed peace.

The Community and its Member States think that the holding of elections in the present situation would not allow the people of Togo to exercise their freedom of choice.

The Community and its Member States would not, therefore, be able to help in organising the poll or to send observers during the elections.

17 May : Statement on Chad

The Community and its Member States are deeply concerned at the recent events which have occurred in the south of Chad where members of the army have committed serious violations of human rights. They especially deplore the fact that civilians have fallen victim to these human rights violations.

They strongly urge the Chad authorities to take all necessary steps to restore order and security in the country. They also urge the Chad authorities to implement further measures to prevent human rights violations based on the findings of the investigation commission into these events.

The Community and its Member States believe that it is necessary to establish a climate of peace and security in order to achieve the objectives of greater democracy in Chad announced by the National Conference, the holding of which is welcomed by the EC, and they call upon the government and all political forces to facilitate dialogue and collaboration which are indispensible in this connection.

2 June : Statement on Malawi

The Community and its Member States have followed closely developments in Malawi since the announcement of the referendum to decide whether Malawi should maintain the existing single-party system or adopt a multiparty system.

The Community and its Member States were pleased to note that many of the suggestions put forward by the United Nations concerning the conduct of the referendum have been adopted, even though some key recommendations were resisted until a late stage in the referendum timetable.

The Community and its Member States feel bound to draw the attention of the Malawi Government to certain important areas of concern. There are numerous reports of harassment and intimidation in various forms: physical maltreatment of individual multi-party advocates, obstruction, and cancellation of meetings. It is worrying that no responsible government representatives have made any public effort to restrain, for example, the activities of the Malawi Young Pioneers. Another concern is that the advocates of multi-party democracy have been denied satisfactory coverage of their views on the Government-controlled media, particularly radio, as foreseen in the Regulations for the referendum.

In light of the above, the Community and its Member States believe that the Malawi authorities have failed to reach acceptable standards of democratic campaigning, thus calling into question their commitment to increased respect for human rights. Such action could lead international opinion to the conclusion that the referendum did not take place in a free and fair climate.

Nevertheless, the Community and its Member States are encouraged by the fact that advocates of both systems of government have now committed themselves to continued participation in the referendum process. For this reason, the Community and its Member States are providing international observers and financial support for the referendum. For this support to be maintained it is imperative that the remaining part of the campaign takes place under circumstances that permit the true views of the Malawi people to be reflected in the vote.

Finally, the Community and its Member States recall that respect for human rights and for the rules of good governance remain the necessary conditions for the resumption of normal cooperation.

(The people of Malawi have since voted by a clear majority in favour of a multi-party system).

8 June : Statement on Somalia

The Community and its Member States express their deep concern over the events in Mogadishu in recent days and condemn without reservation the premeditated killing and wounding of Pakistani soldiers who were conducting a weapons verification inspection with UNOSOM II. They express their regret and sympathy to the people and Government of Pakistan, and especially to the families of those who lost their lives.

The Community and its Member States reiterate their full support for the United Nations in its efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia. They look forward to the publication of the Secretary-General's enquiry into the recent incident and the role of the factional leaders involved.

The Community and its Member States call on all Somali parties, movements and factions to respect the ceasefire, to comply with the agreements on political reconciliation they entered into in Addis Ababa in March and to cooperate fully with UNOSOM II so that it can fulfil its essential humanitarian mandate.

9 June : Statement on Burundi

The Community and its Member States welcome the good conduct of the presidential elections in Burundi on 1 June 1993. They express the hope that the outcome of these elections will be respected by all the parties concerned. They trust that the President-elect and the Government which emerge from the free and democratic parliamentary elections scheduled for 29 June will continue along the path to democratisation and reconciliation embarked upon by President Buyoya.

25 June : Statement on Nigeria

The Community and its Member States deplore the arbitrary decision of the Nigerian military government to annul the Nigerian presidential election, suspend the National Electoral Commission and thereby stop the promised transition to civilian rule. Reports from international observers suggest that the elections gave Nigerians a fair and adequate chance to express their choice for a democratically elected civilian government.

The Community and its Member States have consistently supported the programme for a return to democratic civilian rule, and had expected this process to be completed and power to be handed over to a democratic civilian government by 27 August. The Community and its Member States call upon the Nigerian authorities to reconsider their decision to annul the election.