Statement on the second round of parliamentary election in Bahrain

The holding of the second round of parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain on 29 November is a positive achievement, as is the significant participation of Bahrainis. These first full parliamentary elections since the dramatic events of 2011 are an important step for the advancement of the necessary reforms in Bahrain, including those needed to sustainably respond to the legitimate grievances of all segments of Bahraini society. It is all the more unfortunate that a number of political societies decided not to take part. A few days after the third anniversary of the publication of the Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, Bahraini political actors are now presented with an opportunity to engage in renewed genuine efforts to achieve national dialogue and reconciliation, in a spirit of shared responsibility in the interest of all Bahrainis. It is the EU’s hope that recent statements expressing readiness on all sides to open a new chapter of Bahrain’s political development will bear fruit. In this context, all parties should show the leadership and willingness to compromise that is needed to resolve remaining...

Statement on the release of Brigadier General Alzate and two other persons detained by the FARC

The release by the FARC of Brigadier General Alzate and of two other detainees is a welcome development and should allow for the early resumption of the negotiations between the Government of Colombia and the FARC in Havana. The EU has supported the Havana negotiations throughout. They are a unique opportunity to put an end to decades of armed conflict that have caused countless victims and widespread suffering, and to build a peaceful and inclusive Colombia. The partial agreements reached on the peace agenda and the steps already taken as part of the discussions on victims-related issues bear witness to the important progress already achieved in the negotiations. We encourage the two sides to make use of this fresh start in the negotiations to redouble their efforts and address remaining issues in a spirit of compromise, so that an overall agreement can be reached without delay. Kidnappings and other forms of unprovoked violence have no place in this process, and we call for the release of all remaining hostages held by the FARC. The EU is ready to help make this process a...

Joint Statement: The Team of Special Envoys to the Great Lakes region of Africa deeply concerned by the recent killings in eastern DRC, calls for decisive action against negative forces

The team of Special Envoys to the Great Lakes region of Africa is outraged and deeply concerned by a spate of civilian massacres that has taken place in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), particularly around the town of Beni, in North Kivu province. The latest of these gruesome attacks were carried out last week. Some 100 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed on 20 November, bringing the number of victims to more than 200 since mid-October. The Special Envoys strongly condemn these  massacres which have been attributed to the militia group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF and stress the fact that there should be no impunity for those responsible for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in the region. They encourage the DRC government to engage a robust military action against this group with the support of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and its Force Intervention Brigade (FIB). The Envoys also call for similar action against all the other armed groups in the region, chief among them the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which have been under international pressure to dismantle by 2 January or face military action. The Envoys take note of the start of the voluntary relocation to Kisangani of some FDLR elements. They urge the FDLR to take advantage of the situation and to fully surrender and disarm as requested by the leaders of the region. Likewise, the group of Envoys recalls the urgency to complete the demobilization process of the former 23 March Movement (M23) combatants, in coordination with concerned regional states. The...

Remarks by Frederica Mogherini, EU High Representative on Foreign and Security Policy, and Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship on the conferences for the Rabat Process and the Khartoum Process

Frederica Mogherini, EU High Representative on Foreign and Security Policy, and Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship made the following remarks following their participation at the Ministerial conferences of the ‘Rabat’ and ‘Khartoum’ Processes in Rome. High Representative Mogherini stated the following: ”I am very pleased with the results of the Ministerial conferences of the last two days: the ‘Rabat process’ and the ‘Khartoum process’. Thanks to the leadership of the Italian Presidency and the teamwork with Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, these two conferences have been a success; we need to act together and to find solutions for all aspects of migration. Sometimes we are tempted to deal with this issue as a security matter, but our presence in Rome underlines the commitment of the European Union to have a broader approach. In this regard, within the European Commission, we have started to act in a coordinated way and to work from all different angles, in order to maximise the impact of our policies and projects. It is our responsibility to make sure that all the tools we have are coherent. We need to tackle the emergencies, to deal with the dramatic conditions of people who put their lives at risk to try to find a better future, to work with countries of transition and to fight migrant smuggling. But we also need to tackle the root causes of irregular migration: poverty, conflicts, lack of resources. That’s why it is essential to develop fully all our European means. We need the impetus, support and political will from Member States and international partners, which we received these days...

Statement on the attack against the Central Mosque in Kano, Nigeria

The fatal explosion in the Central Mosque in Kano during Friday prayers has caused terrible loss of life. By targeting a Muslim place of worship the terrorists have again shown their complete disrespect for the sacredness of human life, as well as their desire only to spread terror and suffering. The EU expresses its condolences to the families of those victims, the Muslim community and all Nigerians. The EU stands with the Nigerian authorities and its people in the fight against terrorism and the respect for human...