Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-09-Speech-3-193"

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". – Madam President, thank you very much to Mr Kaczmarek and to the Commissioner for his response to the report. In the Horn of Africa, one hardly knows where to begin, because what we see is a lethal cocktail of conflict and poverty, where the rule of law barely exists, where there is no concept of democracy and human rights and where five out of seven of the countries of the region are in conflict with their neighbours. So, as the rapporteur says, there can be no real security and there can be no developments without peace. The key issues are related to building peace, preventing conflict and resolving conflict. Those are the central elements in the report. It is very important to point out that, as the Commissioner is very well aware, in other regions of Africa, for example West Africa – I was recently in Côte d’Ivoire – and in the Great Lakes area, we are now seeing peace breaking out. But the Horn of Africa stands out as the one region where we have not been able to grapple with conflict management and prevention. Certainly, the idea of an envoy and other suggestions are very welcome indeed. What we see are the worst examples of conflict. In Darfur, the UN says that some 200 000 people have died and two million have been displaced since that conflict began in 2003. The Government of Sudan continues to ignore efforts at mediation, including from the UN Secretary-General. The border disputes between Eritrea and Ethiopia remain unresolved. The Government of Ethiopia continues to break international law as far as that is concerned. The leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia refuse to give the people the right to choose their own government and to respect elections, as has been the case in Ethiopia. Now we see intense fighting in Somalia, where about a thousand people have died and where Ethiopian troops have been very active, fighting on behalf of the transitional government in Somalia, but of course – as we all have to acknowledge – with covert assistance from the United States. The Eritreans, meanwhile, back the Islamist militias. I have written to the Commissioner on this subject and would still like to ask him why it is that we have offered such support to the transitional government in Somalia and why we are not asking serious questions about the bloody process which we are apparently continuing in many ways to tolerate. There is a humanitarian catastrophe looming in Somalia and we are still not holding those responsible in the transitional government accountable for their actions. Why, Commissioner, are we not asking questions? Is it political expediency that prevents us from doing that? Why is it that the Ethiopians do not leave? Why is it that security cannot be established? Why is there no genuine power sharing, and is the EU insisting that moderates in the Islamic courts must be involved in any possible solution in Somalia? Finally, I have to ask whether the EU is serious about state-building in the Horn of Africa or whether we are actually focusing on other priorities. May I suggest that the other priorities in the Horn of Africa are the so-called war against terror?"@en1

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