“Rubbish, I don’t have bank accounts in Europe,” Moses Lokujo responses to EU

Moses Lokujo responses to recent sanctions imposed by the European Union | Photo: Via Facebook

Responding to the recent sanctions imposed by the European Union, South Sudan’s blacklisted military commander, General Moses Lokujo, says that travel ban and asset freeze will do him no harm, citing that he doesn’t have a bank account in Europe.


“This is rubbish, I have never gone to European countries nor will I set foot on their territory. Since I was fighting to defend my country and as long as I do not have an active bank account in Europe, the dogs may bark, but the caravan goes on,” said Moses Lokujo in an exclusive interview with Thessherald.


Earlier this week, the European Union imposed a travel ban on Musa Lokujo, for serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings and attacks on opposition forces in Kajo-Keji county.

“In South Sudan, the EU has imposed sanctions on Major General Gabriel Moses Lokujo for serious human rights violations in South Sudan in particular extra judicial killings.”

“Three officers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition were abducted and executed on the orders of Major General Gabriel Moses Lokujo,” the European Union.

“Lokujo Announcing his defection from the SPLM-IO to SSPDF
Major General Lokujo defected in September 2020 from the SPLA-IO to the SSPDF and is responsible for the ensuing clashes in and around the Moroto Training Center in southern Central Equatoria.”

“As a consequence, several deaths and injuries were reported on both sides during the last quarter of 2020, and civilians were also displaced, especially in the Kajo-Keji area of Central Equatoria State. Major General Lokujo’s forces remained in the area where several further clashes have been reported and the safety and security of the civilian communities continue to be in jeopardy.”

Under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime established on 7 December 2020, the listed individuals and entities are subject to an asset freeze in the EU. In addition, listed individuals are subject to a travel ban to the EU. Moreover, persons and entities in the EU are prohibited from making funds available, either directly or indirectly, to those listed.

IGAD, EU sign €4.4m grant for Boma-Gambella biodiversity conservation

       By: MoF of Ethiopia 🇪🇹 
IGAD representatives and EU delegation sign a €4.4 Million Agreement on January 24, 2021 in Ethiopia |Photo: © MoF of Ethiopia.
IGAD representatives and EU delegation sign a €4.4 Million Agreement on January 24, 2021 in Ethiopia |Photo: © MoF of Ethiopia.

The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, and the Head of the European Delegation to Djibouti, Ambassador Aidan O’Hara, on Monday (January 24) signed a 4.4 Million Euros Grant Agreement to support IGAD for a Trans-boundary South Sudan-Ethiopia conservation project of biodiversity in the Boma-Gambella landscape.

The Political and Public Diplomacy Plenipotentiary Minister, Melaku Bedada speaking for the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti, commended the IGAD-EU for materializing the grant agreement.

He reiterated Ethiopia’s unrelenting commitment to further enhancing the collaborative conservation of biodiversity, landscape, and greenery.

Melaku noted this project will engender a remarkable impact on the biodiversity management and livelihoods of communities residing in Boma-Gambella areas and expressed the government’s readiness and full support for its implementation.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Workneh praised the long-standing friendship between IGAD and the European Union that had ‘grown from strength to strength.

This project is the latest in a long line of partnerships and shared initiatives between IGAD and the EU to preserve all that is good in our region and also address the challenges that we face, Dr. Workneh said.

Ambassador O’Hara commended IGAD Secretariat for the cross-border approach it is taking to tackling regional challenges.

He also emphasized how important it is to involve local communities in the implementation of the program and wished the implementing partner, The Wildlife Conservation Society, a success.

IGAD will be in charge of the global coordination of this transboundary project while the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) will be the implementing partner.

Breaking: TPLF begins large-scale airstrikes in Eritrea, destroys buildings

Nov 27, 2020 (Thessherald)–Latest reports from Eritrea indicate that the TPLF has fired several rockets this evening into neighboring Eritrea and destroyed civilian buildings, the Eritrean Press confirmed a few minutes ago.

“The TPLF junta has fired numerous rockets at several Eritrean cities tonight in the last desperate attempt to internationalised the war inside Ethiopia,” the Eritrean Press said in a statement.

“EP can confirm that the rockets in Asmara have landed near busy residential areas, but no casualties are recorded. Eritrean Press will update you when more information reaches us.”

On Friday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed rebuffed calls by the African Union for dialogue and pledged to continue to enforce military operations until he controls the capital, Mekele, which is currently inhabited by thousands of civilians.


This is a developing #story, check back in a few minutes for more updates!

EU diplomat describes Abiy Ahmed as a ‘dog’ in sheep’s clothing

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed |Illustration Nicklas Elmehed

Nov 27, 2020 (Thessherald)–Speaking during a plenary debate on the ongoing situation in the Tigray region, a member of the European Parliament, Assita Kanko, has said that the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, the country’s first Novel Peace Prize laureate, has become a wolf in sheep’s clothing and must be stripped of his award as a punishment for plunging the country into turmoil.

The top European Union official stressed that the Ethiopian leader, Abiy, is no longer a symbol of peace and unity in Ethiopia and the entire Horn of Africa, but rather a dictator who wants to cling to power by means of violence.

“The situation in Ethiopia is urgent, the country’s grip on peace is slipping with every passing day. Its leader, Abiy Ahmed, has a Nobel Peace Prize but he is refusing to pursue peace in his own country, I believe he should give that back. He is being a ‘wolf‘ in sheep’s clothing, a reformer turned authoritarian.”

Kanko explains that the situation in the Tigray region has gone from bad to worse with disturbing reports of ethnic profiling, lack of access to basic services since the government shut down telecoms, internet, banks and blew up electricity in the capital, Mekelle.

“In the Tigray region, hundreds are already dead with ethnic targeted violence and serious violations of human rights. Buildings and homes are shelled and roads are blocked to humanitarian assistance. There are no telecoms, no internet or electricity and millions face the threat of famine in a country once was a stabilizing factor and influence in a fragile region and a pivotal force in the fight against Islamic terrorism.”

She pointed out that if the situation is not ended urgently by imposing an internationally mediated peace, it would lead to a catastrophic humanitarian situation that will end up forcing hundreds of Ethiopians to make their way to Europe.

“Tens of thousands of Ethiopians now cross the border to Eastern Sudan, seeking safety. Progress and development in Ethiopia was hard-won. We must do all we can to prevent that progress from being lost forever. A looming civil war could destabilise the whole region and trigger another humanitarian crisis that could reach the shores of Europe.”

“We must continue to call for international meditation and a ceasefire, as you have done this week Mr. Borrell. But I would also stress that rarely does a crocodile yield to the roar of a toothless tiger.”

Adding that, “The European Union provides large amounts of development assistance to Ethiopia, and we should consider using this and all available leverages to help de-escalate the conflict in the Tigray region. Time is running out to salvage the situation and forge a path to free, fair and transparent elections and ultimately to democracy.“

“Nothing short of our most determined and resolute efforts is needed,” she added.

Since last week, the international community has expressed grave concern after the federal government announced that there will be a tank-to-tank battle inside the capital, Mekelle, with thousands of people have been trapped without escape routes.

EU calls for an immediate end to violence in the Tigray region

Ethiopia teeters on the brink of civil war |Photo: File

Nov 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–High-Level Representatives of the European Union have expressed concern about reports of atrocities committed against civilians, and called for an immediate end to hostilities in the Tigray region.

“Ethnically targeted measures, hate speech and allegations of atrocities occurring in Ethiopia are deeply worrying. The demonstration of ethnic groups is a vicious and lethal cycle from which Ethiopia must be spared,” said EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell and Commissioner Janez Lenarcic.

EU

The European Union expresses concern that if the ongoing military operations continue in the Tigray region, a severely worsening humanitarian crisis may be imminent.

“The danger of a major humanitarian crisis is imminent and an immediate de-escalation is needed. All parties should show restraint and reinforce their calls to avoid incitement to hatred and violence.”

The EU officials call on the Ethiopian authorities to abide by international humanitarian law and safeguard the civilian population.

“Human rights and international humanitarian law need to be upheld, including ensuring safe and free movement of civilians as well as a timely, independent, unimpeded and unconditional access of humanitarian workers to most vulnerable.”

Amnesty International documents atrocities

On Thursday, Amnesty International that dozens of civilians have been horrifically slaughtered on ethnic grounds.

“We have confirmed the massacre of a very large number of civilians, who appear to have been day labourers in no way involved in the ongoing military offensive,” said Amnesty in an investigative report.

Amnesty International

“Amnesty International has verified video footage and photographs that show scores of people were attacked with knives and machetes, with hundreds feared dead, in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region on the night of 9 November.”

“The gruesome evidence shows bodies being carried away on stretchers or strewn across the town of Mai-Kadra (May Cadera) in the western Tigray state of Ethiopia. Amnesty’s Crisis Evidence Lab used satellite imagery to geolocate and confirm the exact location where the crimes were committed.”

UNHCR, EU and IGAD agree to address refugee crises in Sudan and S. Sudan

The women and children shown in these images living in Yida cam. They were displaced from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan |Photo: MSF
The women and children shown in these images are living in Yida camp. They were displaced from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, Sudan |Photo: MSF

Joint Press Statement |UNHCR, EU and IGAD

October 9, 2020 (Thessherald)–On the margins of UNHCR’s annual Executive Committee proceedings, the Foreign Ministers of Sudan and South Sudan held a meeting chaired by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and attended by the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, at which they agreed to begin an IGAD-led regional initiative to seek solutions to protracted displacement in Sudan and South Sudan.

With the recent signing of the Juba Peace Agreement between Sudan’s Transitional Government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front and others on 3 October 2020, and the continued efforts in implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed on 12 September 2018, all parties present agreed it is a unique opportunity to find lasting solutions for displaced persons from the two countries.

As part of the IGAD-led process, a High-Level Meeting is foreseen to take place during an IGAD Heads of State Special Summit that is planned for the first quarter of 2021. The aim will be to agree on the early recovery and longer-term peacebuilding and resilience needs for five million Sudanese and South Sudanese internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees, and to urge the international community to show solidarity and support the process.

The High-Level Meeting is in line with the Nairobi Declaration, an agreement by IGAD countries to have a comprehensive regional approach to deliver durable solutions for refugees while also maintaining protection and promoting self-reliance in the countries of asylum. In addition, the process will be an initiative of the IGAD Support Platform launched during the Global Refugee Forum in December last year, and which consists of humanitarian and development organizations, donors, private sector and other partners committing to show solidarity by providing concrete technical, financial and development support to refugees in the IGAD region.

All parties further agreed that key factors for achieving success will be the participation of refugees, IDPs, and returnees in the process, full regional engagement especially with countries hosting Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees, the crucial roles and contributions of other UN actors, and more support from the international community. A first preparatory meeting will take place in Khartoum at the end of the month.

The IGAD member states are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. Currently, there are over 1.8 million Sudanese internally displaced, mainly in the Darfur region, and over 700,000 refugees located in neighbouring countries. Figures for South Sudanese include some 2.2 million refugees in the region and another 1.6 million displaced within the country.

European Union announces €100 million to support the democratic transition process in Sudan

Press Release 

(Thessherald)–Today, the European Union has announced €100 million to support the civilian-led authorities in Sudan to meet the most pressing needs of the democratic transition.

“The European Union is fully committed to accompanying the ongoing political transition in Sudan through all the means at its disposal. Besides political support, financial assistance to Sudan remains crucial, given the severity of the economic crisis in the country. We hope that these additional €100 million will boost the efforts of the transitional Government to implement reforms”, said High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell , who is currently on his first official visit to Sudan.

“Sudan now has an historic opportunity to transform into a democratic society. The European Union is fully committed to supporting the Sudanese people to succeed.”
EU support to Sudan comes in the context of the popular protests that toppled President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The transitional civilian authority is preparing the country for free and fair elections in 2022 but faces enormous social, economic and political challenges.

“ This new package of financial assistance will help the Sudanese Government to implement critical economic reforms required to create jobs and expand the provision of public services across the country, and to provide opportunity for the youth and women at the forefront of change in Sudan”, Jutta Urpilainen , Commissioner for International Partnerships, said earlier today.

EU assistance in Sudan will focus primarily on support to:

economic reforms,
economic opportunities for youth and women, and the peace process and democratic Governance.

Sudanese authorities, EU and international partners together identified these sectors as being vital for the welfare of the population and the future of the country.

The Sudanese economy has contracted for a second year in a row, and the transitional Government recognises a clear need for macro-economic and structural reforms to stabilise it. These reforms should carefully manage a move away from generalised subsidies to a comprehensive social protection system.

The EU will support the efforts to buffer the transition for the most vulnerable citizens. The EU will also support the transitional Government in enhancing accountability and improving the management of public finances.

The EU will work with the Sudanese authorities and partners to create employment opportunities in Sudan, especially for youth and women. There will be a focus on education and training, and on women’s economic empowerment.

Finally, the EU will also support the peace process and the protection and promotion of human rights in Sudan.

Background

Sudan has embarked on a complex political transition following the agreement on a civilian-led transition of 17 August 2019. This represents a major step towards civilian-led rule with a historic opportunity to achieve peace, democracy and economic recovery.
The European Union is a key partner for the Sudanese authorities in their quest to make the transition to democracy a success.

To that end, it supports the consolidation of the political transition in Sudan and is ready to accompany the country on its path to political and economic reform and implementation.


The new financial assistance of €100 million announced today will be delivered through the ‘European Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa’ (EUTF for Africa).

Last December, the EU already provided, through the EUTF for Africa, a €7 million support package to the Prime Minister’s Office and €35 million to bolster the country’s social protection system. This came in addition to a funding of €60 million for projects under the EUTF for Africa, which will start in early 2020.
The EU supports the political transition in Sudan through technical assistance.

The announcement made today brings the total contribution by the European Union to the Sudanese civilian-led transition to €217 million for development cooperation.

In addition, the EU provided €13 million in the second half of 2019 for stability and peace, specifically to help strengthen social cohesion and human security in the peripheries and to reduce the risk of conflict.