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Famine in East Africa

Greens/EFA motion for a resolution

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

           

A.     Whereas the drought in the horn of Africa is affecting more than 12 million people; whereas the countries affected include Somalia, eastern Kenya, south eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti and parts of Uganda where central while southern Somalia remains the worst hit, 

B.     Whereas according to the UNHCR nearly half of <place w:st="on"></place><country-region w:st="on"></country-region>Somalia</country-region><//country-region></place><//place>'s 7.5 million people have been affected by the drought, and a quarter of the population has sought refuge in neighbouring countries, 

C.     Whereas famine and drought in <place w:st="on"></place><country-region w:st="on"></country-region>Somalia</country-region><//country-region></place><//place> has been particularly exacerbated  by inter-clan fighting over control of resources and banditry activities,   in the absence of functioning government  since 1991,

D.     Whereas persistent insecurity  in <place w:st="on"></place><country-region w:st="on"></country-region>Somalia</country-region><//country-region></place><//place>  has limited the ability of aid workers to provide the much needed humanitarian aid,

E.      Whereas famine in the Horn of Africa can not be reduced only to a drought  problem as a number of other interrelated complex issues are behind the famine such as  climate change and environmental degradation; civil war and political instability; regional interstate rivalries arising  from local and national political conflicts; luck of investment in agriculture for local consumption and  farmland acquisition by government backed foreign investor;   basic food price increase;

F.      Whereas, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a vast number of illegal shipments of toxic waste, the contents of which are leaking, have been deposited along the coast of Somalia, in total disregard for the health of the local population and conservation of the environment,  and that waste is irreversibly damaging human health and the environment in the region, in flagrant violation of human rights,

1        Welcomes the EU's swift response to the famine in the horn of Africa; notes that  the Commission has allocated EUR 97.47 M in humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa and is preparing to step up its support even further, bringing our humanitarian support to the drought-affected populations in the Horn to EUR 158 M this year;

2        Calls on the EU and horn of <place w:st="on"></place>Africa</place><//place> governments to link the emergency  assistance with rehabilitation  and a comprehensive sustainable  program with a particular focus on agricultural sector in order to guarantee food security;

3        Urges the Commission to develop disasters prevention and response management capacity programs with national governments, local authorities and civil society organisations

4        Expresses its deep concern about the land grab in Africa, which risks undermining local food security; calls on the horn of Africa governments and the EU to assess  the current farmland acquisition impact on rural poverty  and  the  famine;  urges also the Commission to put the land grab issue in its policy dialogue with developing countries in order to make Policy Coherence at national and  international level,  

5        Reminds that a solution to the drought and famine catastrophe in the Horn of Africa as a whole and particularly in Somalia will only be possible if the underlying political, economic, environmental  and security problems are being addressed by local actors and the international community alike;

6        Calls on all Somali factions  to end violence, fully respect human rights and individual freedom and  put aside their differences; calls on all Somali opposition leaders to commit themselves firmly to peace and to a genuine process of national reconciliation by establishing constructive relations with the Somali transitional institutions; 

7        Recalls the absence of a political strategy of the European Union for the Horn of Africa; reminds that such a strategic document has been prepared by the External Action Service but was rejected by several EU Foreign Ministers on their 18 March 2011 meeting; calls for an EU strategy for the region which outlines the political objective, individual steps to be taken, and how individual humanitarian, development, security and military measures interrelate and are being balanced also financially;  

8        Calls on the HR/VC to critically review the Djibouti Peace Process especially in light of the recent unilateral extension of the Transitional Federal Institutions and to consider launching  a team of mediators whose members are being trusted by a large spectrum of Somalia actors including women's associations and who are enabled to bring together a large variety of Somali actors at the negotiation table; calls on the HR/VC to also initiate in parallel a process for Somali civil society actors within and outside the country which allows a regular and continued discussion about possible solutions to the political problems in the country; calls on the HR/VC to bring these two processes together taking as an example the successful peace process between 2000 and 2005 in Sudan;

9        Notes the presence of EU naval force operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia; reminds that EUNAVOR Atalanta and other naval operations like NATO's Operation Ocean Shield only can deter and contain piracy while the root causes of the problem are to be tackled on shore; notes that despite significant financial contributions between 1.2 and 2 billion EURO for naval operations around the Horn of Africa piracy activities have increase during the last years and months; notes with concern an increased use of violence by the pirates against unarmed civilian vessels and also by EU and other naval forces; reminds that pirates should be treated as criminals and more should be done in order to bring captured pirates to trial;

10    Wwelcomes the recent report of Jack Lang, United Nations Secretary General Special Adviser on legal issues related to piracy off the coast of Somalia and calls on HR/VC to support his proposals regarding strengthening the rule of law in Somalia, aiming at a Somalization of the juridical response towards piracy; calls on the HR/VC and the EU Member States to prevent the deployment of private security companies to civilian vessels and to avoid industrialization of counter piracy; calls on the HR/VC and the European Commission to initiate EU legislation aiming at regulating the work of private security companies;

11    Notes the Council decision of 28 July 2011 to extend the EU's training mission for Somali security forces (EUTM Somalia) in Uganda until the end of 2011; notes with concern the fact that with EUTM the EU tries to alter the military balance in the country without an overarching political strategy for solving the conflict being in place; notes with concern the fact that many of the already trained Somali soldiers defected after deployment taking with them armament and other equipment; is concerned by the fact that the armed forces of TFG lack both, command and control and a financial system that allows regular payments of salaries; notes with concern reports of government forces looting food aid delivered by international donors to refugee camps in Mogadishu; calls on the HR/VC to explore further ways of strengthening the UN military mission AMISON in Somalia;

12    Calls on the UN, to fund an in depth study for collecting evidence with regard to the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Somali waters by foreign actors including the taking of water and soil samples to ensure that environmental contamination is comprehensively dealt with;

13    Calls on the UN, the European Commission and the HR/VC to take further actions to remedy potential risks for the population and  coastal environment by establishing   responsibilities at all levels and bringing to justice those responsible for this environmental crime;  also calls on the EU Members States and the European Commission to augment efforts in preventing and countering illegal fishing in Somali waters; 

14    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to  the Council, Commission, EU High Representative, the governments of <place w:st="on"></place>East Africa</place><//place>, the African Union institutions; 

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Responsible MEPs

Reinhard Bütikofer
Reinhard Bütikofer
Member
Ska Keller
Ska Keller
Co-President
Jean Lambert
Jean Lambert
Member
Judith Sargentini
Judith Sargentini
Member

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