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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Foreign Minister Fabius ao to EuroFora+on Mali area: Security linked to Democracy+Development

French Foreign Minister Fabius ao to EuroFora+on Mali area: Security linked to Democracy+Development

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
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*Paris/Quai d'Orsay/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking to Journalists in Paris, including "EuroFora", French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Mali's Prime Minister   Diango Cissoko, as well as other well informed sources at the Quai d'Orsay (See Infra), just after the Breaking News about the Abduction of a whole Family of Tourists with 4 Children at nearby Northern Cameroon, added to another kidnaping at Nigeria's North, by violent Terrorists reportedly reacting to France's military help to Mali's Government, appeared to agree, in substance, that the current Priority is to guarantee the Securisation of all that Area, and its Democratic Development, which are so linked that one can't go without the other :

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- After pointing from the start to the "3 aspects" of actions currently needed at Mali : "Security, Political Dialogue and Elections, as well as Economic Development", Fabius had an ostensibly Friendly  greeting with a Tuareg representative from Mali's Northern area, right in front of "EuroFora", (as an experienced politician, that we have already met since his 1st visit to the Council of Europe when he was serving as French National Assembly's President).

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+ As for Mali's Prime Minister Cissoko, (who had just met, yesterday in Brussels, with EU Commission's President Barroso), he also denounced the fact that what you can do with a given sum of Money in the South of the Country, often needs up to 3 times more in order to be done at the North, as he said, apparently criticizing the lack of Security and Democratic Unity, (eventually added to thus provoked Corruption), which hinders also Economic Development.

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The point on the current need to ensure an elementary Security to the wider surrounding area also as an indispensable means to release the region's in fact important Development potential, among others, also via MulttiNational Projects to transport nearby Nigeria's Gas Exports (i.e. currently the Biggest recent Findings of Energy resources in the World, even more than Egypt's Nile Delta) towards Europe and other Countries that could benefit f.ex. by a kind of "Trans-Saharian Gas Pipeline", straight on from Nigeria up to Algeria and the Mediterranean Sea, continuing via Italy and/or Ships to France's Marseille Foss II NLG ,new terminal, Spain's equivalent infrastructures, etc;, as recalled by "EuroFora", was considered as at least interesting t be considered seriously, as reacted in substance, carefuly but positively, the new French Foreign Ministry's Press Director and Spokesman, (who had earlier served at New York), Philippe Lalliot.

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+ Irish EU Council's rotating Chair, Minister for EU affairs Lucinda Craighton's recent anouncement, earlier at EU Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committtee's Hearing organized in Strasbourg by its President, German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Elmar Broc, that EU currently examines the preparation of a possible Mission to check Borders between key South Mediterranean Countries, such as Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, etc., and Sub-Saharian African Countries, such as Mali, etc, by using mainly Civic Security means inspired inter alia by "FrontEx", (EU's External Borders' guards), including f.ex. High Tech Satellite Monitoring and/or Command/Communications' systems, etc., was, meanwhile, positively welcomed also by other French Foreign Ministry's well informed sources, specialized to Africa, speaking later tp "Eurofora", pointing to a parallel discussion on similar issues recently at the Quai d'Orsay.

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Such moves sould topically and usefully boost also EU's Civic aspects of European Security and Defense policy, in parallel and in addition to its Military aspects, strengthening further its "Dual" nature, supported by EU Parliament and December 2012 EU Summit in Brussels (comp. "EuroFora"s relevant NewsReport from the spot).

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Contrary to what some still believe in Europe, erroneously claiming that "Mali is far away from the EU", etc, it's indeed enough to just See and Compare f.ex. a Map for the above mentioned Nigerian - Algerian - Italian (etc). Trans-Saharian Gas Pipeline project, with another Map showing where so-called "Islamic Extremist Groups" suddenly appeared recently all throughout the surrounding area, next to Mali, between Nigeria, Cameroon, etc. and Algeria-Tunisia-Libya, etc., (often confused amidst a too recent Nebula of various small Terrorist Groups curiously mushrooming lately at that precise region, as the Foreign Ministry's Deputy Press Ditector and Spokesman, Vincent Floreani observed agreeing in substance with "EuroFora"), in order to clearly realize that the Spatial, Temporal and Functional "Coincidences" are so Striking that some might even speculate there about an eventual so-called Geo-Political "Complot" Hypothesis, even if I think that it's not the case, as another Diplomatic source spontaneouly observed, during a discussion with "EuroFora".

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To put it in a nutshell, in addition to the necessary SafeGuards against fast-spreading Terrorism, there is also aVital need to Develop the area's Economy, possibly in a way of mutually beneficial projects of cooperation between Europe and Africa, etc., , some of which indicate an Important Potential which shouldn't be missed, (be it in Energy Resources and/or otherwise), while also Protecting the Local Populations.


So, while the initial, Front-line Military action,  in order to Help Mali's Government to recuperate its "Territorial Integrity" at the North, (as Foreign Minister Fabius observed), appear to have succesfully advanced, from now on, there are still Serious issues of Securization, as well as of a Democratic organization, with sufficient Dialogue and Economic Development, wich must be solved now, thanks also to the Beginning of EU's "Training" Mission on the spot, destinated to help Mali build its own efficient National Army, while also backed by France and African a.o. forces, addd to EU's parallel Decision to start unblocking its Development Aid and co-organise, together with France, an International Donors' Conference to help the area's Economic Development, since the Govenment of Mali accepted to hold "Elections" soon, as well as to launch a National "Dialogue" with various Political groups.


Such moves should go hand by hand also with the necessity to seriously investigate and punish any eventual Abuse, by whoever it might have been committted against any local population, against EU and UNO's standards, clearly added French Foreign Minister Fabius, and this promisse was confirmed by Mali's Prime Minister Cissoko, who denounced any alleged abuse as "unacceptable", anouncing that all alleged violations of human rights would be investigated, so that, if proved, their perpetrators would face Sanctions.

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+ The Prime Minister of Mali clearly promissed, also, that "All Communities" inside the Country would be associated to a comprehensive and inclusive process of National "Dialogue", in addition to the "Elections" that he anounced for "July", while observing also that many Tuareg at the North of the Country are, in fact, Peaceful and seeking a Reconcliation through Political Dialogue.


The crystal-clear "Conditions" for participationg in that process are naturally to Respect the "Territorial Integrity" of the Country, and to exclude any practice of Terrorism, stressed French Foreign Minister Fabius, while also adding that among various Compromise-making mechanisms, "Local/Regional De-Centralisation" could be included among some Positive Ideas on how to find Solutions to conflicts.

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In the Medium-Long term, such forthcoming developments throughout the surrounding area, should be bettter backed, from a Security point of view, by a fully-fledged International "Peace Keeping Mission", that UNO's Security Council could decide, in order to Bettter fix some Organisational, Logistics, Cooperation and Legal issues, thanks to a more adequate Structure for the Future, anounced French Foreign Minister Fabius.

(../..)

***

(NDLR : "FlashNews", ie. a Brief version of a "DraftNews" already sent, earlier, to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version might be published asap).


***

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

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- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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