|The Courier N° 160 - Nov - Dec 1996 - Dossier Habitat - Country reports: Fiji , Tonga (EC Courier, 1996, 96 p.)|
|News round - up|
COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY
Within the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the European Union has recently issued a number of statements, details of which are set out below:
Burundi: condemnation of the massacre on 19 July
Declaration of 23 July 1996
The European Union expresses grave concern at the deteriorating situation in Burundi especially at the killing of civilians and other gross violations of human rights which continue to be perpetrated in that country. It vehemently condemns the massacre of civilians in the Bugendana camp for displaced persons on 19 July last and deplores the expulsions of Rwandan refugees against their will. This massacre, following as it does those at Gishubi, Kivyuka, Teza, Mutoyi, Songa and Kamenge, represents a new stage in the vortex of violence, action and reaction putting Burundi at risk of being drawn ever further into a full civil war, the effects of which would be catastrophic for the people of Burundi.
The EU calls on all Burundians to turn away from violence and move singlemindedly along the road to a peaceful and negotiated solution of their problems. It would point to the undertakings given on 25 June 1996 at Arusha during the Summit of Heads of State of the region in favour of dialogue open to all sectors of Burundi's population together with provision of the security measures needed to create the conditions for such dialogue. It would also point out that these undertakings were given formal backing by the Heads of State and Government of the entire continent of Africa when they met from 8 to 10 July at Yaounde under the aegis of the Organisation for African Unity.
The EU believes that only compliance with the undertakings given at Arusha and their swift implementation can restore a climate of confidence and prevent Burundi becoming embroiled in a generalised conflict. As it has already stressed in the Council's statement of 15 and 16 July, the EU reiterates that it is prepared to assist in pursuit of the Arusha objectives in order to restore peace and security in Burundi and it supports the efforts of former President Nyerere and the countries of the region to achieve this.
Burundi: appeal for reconciliation following the coup d'Etat
Declaration of 26 July 1996
The European Union shares the deep concern of the Secretary General of the United Nations, and others, about yesterday's military coup in Burundi.
The EU urges all sides to avoid recourse to violence and to take all steps to resolve the crisis by exclusively peaceful means.
The EU believes that the main immediate priority is the humanitarian situation. There must be no further loss of life.
An immediate beginning of a national debate is essential, leading to a real process of national reconciliation, founded on democracy and security for all sections of society.
In this regard, the EU commends the efforts of former President Nyerere and regional leaders to broker an all-inclusive, negotiated settlement in Burundi, in peaceful conditions, and urges them to examine the possibility of continuing their efforts in this respect.
The EU reiterates its firm commitment to the re-establishment of peace in Burundi. The Union is following developments in the country closely, in active consultation with partners in the UN, with the OAU and others, towards the goal of restoring peace and security in Burundi. The EU Special Envoy, Mr Ajello, who is in the region, is actively assisting in this process.
Niger: doubts about the first round election results
Declaration of 1 August 1996
The European Union expresses deep concern about the way in which the first round of the presidential elections in Niger on 7-8 July was conducted. In particular, it deplores the decision taken by the Niger authorities to dissolve the independent national electoral commission during the voting process and to replace it with an alternative body. It is the view of the EU that this decision, by the Niger authorities, casts serious doubts on the credibility of the election results. It requests the Niger authorities to explain this decision and why observers found it impossible to assist in gathering and collating the election results.
The EU urges the Niger authorities, in dealing with the critical situation which has resulted from their decision, to respect fully the fundamental freedoms of movement, expression and association of the Niger people. It attaches great importance to the restoration of all civil rights.
The EU will examine, in the light of recent developments, its policies of economic and development cooperation with the Niger authorities.
The EU calls for the full restoration of democratic civilian government in Niger through transparent processes. Free and fair elections will be crucial in this respect. The EU will continue to follow the situation in Niger closely and in particular the preparation, holding and transparency of the forthcoming legislative elections on 22 September. Iceland, the Central European countries associated with the EU and the associated countries Cyprus and Malta align themselves with this declaration.
Swaziland: revision of the Constitution
Declaration of 6 August 1996
The European Union welcomes the announcement by King Mswati III of the names of the new Prime Minister of Swaziland and of the Constitutional Review Commission and is pleased that its membership represents all shades of political opinion in Swaziland.
The EU wishes to encourage all members of the Constitutional Review Commission to participate fully in its work and expresses confidence that their endeavours will bring about the adoption of a draft democratic constitution acceptable to the people of Swaziland as a whole. It hopes that the Commission will pursue its task energetically and is ready to offer appropriate assistance to the Commission if it so wishes.
Burundi: appeal for talks and reconciliation
Declaration of 19 August 1996
Recalling its declarations of 25 June and 5, 15, 23 and 26 July 1996, the European Union reiterates its deep concern about the situation in Burundi. It urges all sides to refrain from violence and to commit themselves to, and work actively towards, a negotiated and peaceful resolution of the crisis.
The EU wishes to express its support for the regional leaders, the Organisation of African Unity and the former President of Tanzania, Mr Julius Nyerere, in the efforts which they have been making to assist Burundi to overcome peacefully the grave crisis which it is experiencing, and encourages them to continue their efforts to facilitate the search for a political solution.
The EU considers it essential for a dialogue to be organised without delay, bringing together all of Burundi's political forces without exception, including representatives of civil society, in order to negotiate a democratic, institutional consensus ensuring security for all.
The EU is convinced that national reconciliation and civil peace in Burundi can be restored on a lasting basis only through the participation of all sections of society in the principal institutions and bodies of the State.
The EU urges all sides in Burundi to call an immediate halt to the violence and respect the safety of all Burundians.
It reaffirms its willingness to support Burundi's recovery efforts, once the necessary national reconciliation is embarked upon with all the resolve required.
AID FOR REHABILITATION
Within the framework of the 'European Programme for Reconstruction and Development in South Africa', the Commission has recently decided on financing for the following ten projects:
- ECU 19.2 million for a development programme covering the
management of the public service;
- ECU 17.2 million for technical assistance to the Ministry of Education;
- ECU 16 million for a support programme for Parliament;
- ECU 15 million for the electrification of rural schools;
- ECU 9 million to support the reform process in the police services of the Eastern Cape province;
- ECU 8.9 million for a financing and investment development programme for SMEs;
- ECU 5 million for a programme of rural water supply and sanitation projects to be implemented
by the NGO Mvula Trust;
- ECU 4.3 million to support the trade union movement;
- ECU 2.3 million for the 'Soul City 1996' project designed to make full use of the mass media to promote health and development issues;
- ECU 1.9 million to support the 'Truth and National Reconciliation Commission'.
EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT FUND
Following, where required, favourable opinions from the EDF Committee, the Commission has decided to provide grants and special loans from the 5th, 6th and 7th EDFs to finance the following operations (grants unless otherwise stated). Major projects and programmes are highlighted.
Economic and social infrastructure
Burkina Faso: ECU 4.125 million for studies relating to certain road infrastructures.
Mauritius: ECU 9 million for an irrigation programme in the northern plains.
Dominica: ECU 1.65 million towards the establishment of refuse treatments systems. Trade promotion/ structural adjustment
Cot'lvoire: ECU 25.5 million to , support the structural adjustment programme.
Lesotho: ECU 8.6 million for the fourth structural adjustment programme.
Ethiopia-Kenya-Uganda: ECU 20 million for a programme to coordinate national activities aimed at achieving sustainable rural development in the region (notably involving the fight against the Tsetse fly)
Caribbean region: ECU 5.9 million towards a post-secondary education training programme in the countries of the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States - Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines).
Malawi: ECU 4.4 million for a social/ participatory programme in the forestry sector as part of the implementation of a national forestry policy.
SADC member states: ECU 1.7 million to support the SADC (Southern African Development Community) secretariat in order to strengthen the SADC-EU regional programme.
UEMOA (West Africa Economic and Monetary Union): ECU 12 million to support the regional integration process in the member states (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cot'lvoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo)
Zambia: ECU 1.5 million for a support programme for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK
During the first half of 1996, the Bank has provided the following loans from its own resources or in the form of risk capital:
Africa/Madagascar: ECU 30 million for ASECNA (I'Agence pour la securite de la navigation aerienne en Afrique et a Madagascar) for the renewal and modernisation of air safety equipment. Botswana: ECU 6.6 million to the Botswana Power Corporation to help increase electricity-generating capacity.
Burkina Faso: ECU 6 million to SOFITEX (Societe burkinabe des fibres textiles) for the renewal and extension of its cotton ginneries facility.
Mali: ECU 5.3 million to the Societe Energie du Mali for the financing of the Balingue thermal power station.
Mauritania: ECU 2 million to SNIM (Societe rationale industrielle et miniere) for the setting up and operation of a mechanical workshop.
Mauritania: ECU 1.4 million to the Societe arabe du fer et de l'acier (Arab iron and steel company) for the construction of a foundry.
Mozambique: ECU 500 000 to Grafites de Ancuabe for the exploitation of a graphite mine.
Zambia: ECU 2 million to the Zambia Venture Capital Fund, set up to subscribe for minority equity stakes in SMEs.
Jamaica: ECU 40 million to Telecommunications of Jamaica Ltd for expansion and modernisation of the domestic and international telecommunications network.
British Virgin Islands: ECU 600 000 to the government for the design and feasibility study of the main airport at Beef Island, Tortola.
Tonga: ECU 3.7 million to the Tonga Telecommunications Commission for the development of the country's domestic telecommunications network.
Ethiopia: ECU 5 million for the purchase and distribution of vegetable oils and cereals to refugees living in the country.
Kenya: ECU 420 000 for emergency medical assistance in the fight against cholera in the Mandera region.
Somalia: ECU 1.9 million for emergency food aid to the victims of the continuing factional fighting.
Sudan: ECU 2.5 million for the purchase and distribution of maize in a transit camp close to the capital (154 000 people) and in the south of the country (1 million people), and for the distribution of sorghum to Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees in the east (200 000 people).
Chad: ECU 150 000 to help tackle the cholera epidemic.
Haiti: ECU 10 million for a programme to counter malnutrition and improve basic health care, in particular for women and children in isolated locations.
Montserrat: ECU 380 000 to help evacuees in the wake of the recent volcanic eruption.
Colombia: ECU 1 million for people displaced as a result of drug terrorism and the fighting that has been taking peace between government forces and guerillas.
Costa Rica: ECU 400 000 for the victims of Hurricane Cesar.
Guatemala: ECU 220 000 to train teachers in order to improve education among repatriated communities in the department of Alta Verapaz.
Nicaragua: ECU 440 000 to improve conditions for the social and economic reintegration of uprooted populations (people who have been repatriated, displaced or demobilised) in the department of Rio San Juan.
Northern Caucasus: ECU 4.18 million for civilian victims of the war in Chechnya and for refugees in Ossetia and Dagestan.
Iraq: ECU 9 million for food aid, medical provisions, rehabilitation of drinking water systems, sanitary equipment and educational material to assist 3 million people in the north and centre of the country.
Yemen: ECU 150 000 for flood victims.
Cambodia: ECU 290 000 for a programme to construct and distribute artificial limbs to land-mine victims.
Thailand (Burmese refugees): ECU 220 000 for 'Mon' refugees from Burma (Myanmar) who have fled the violence in their country.
Thailand (Burmese refugees): ECU 500 000 for medical aid in favour of 'Karen' refugees from Burma (Myanmar).
The Commission has recently decided to allocate the following aid: