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Africa Crisis: EU And US On Kenya

  • January 4th, 2008
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-reduced-larger.pngThe European Union has joined the United States in calling for unity talks to end the political crisis in Kenya and has marked off a large part of its humanitarian aid budget to other crisis-ridden African countries.

The EU High Representative Javier Solana disclosed after talks with the US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice (3.1.08), that the two powers would work at diplomatic level to support a peaceful settlement, and formation of a government in Kenya acceptable to the contending parties.

The European Commission said Kenyan citizens had indicated they wanted a peaceful democracy by turning out in large numbers to vote at the weekend elections (30.12.07), and the parties should “make every effort to get to an inclusive political solution.”

European observers could only say that the presidential candidates “both came very close to winning” in the elections, which were fraught with claims of vote rigging and followed this week by bloody fighting with hundreds reported killed.

The EU on Thursday (3.1.08) said it had laid out plans for allocating €369.6-million (A$619-million; dcerates.com, 4.1.08) in humanitarian aid, half its annual humanitarian aid budget, to go into effect once approved by the European Parliament.

Food assistance and other support would be sent to Afghanistan (€160-million; A$268m), Iran and Pakistan (€25-million; A$41.8m), and Colombia (€12 million; A$20m), and to seven African countries: Burundi and Tanzania (€20-million; A$33.5m), Chad (€17-million; A$28.5m), Democratic Republic of Congo (€30-million; A$50.25m), Liberia (€15.6-million; A$26m), Sudan (€70-million; A$117.25m) and Uganda (€12-million; A$20m). Another €8-million (A$13.4m) is being provided for a dedicated humanitarian air transport service (ECHO Flight).

European Union governments provide half the humanitarian assistance distributed worldwide; it covers relief from destitution cased by warfare and civil strife, and natural disasters like earthquake, famine or floods; it is additional to money devoted to economic development aid and cooperation.

Reference:

European Commission, “From Afghanistan to Uganda: Commission earmarks nearly €370 million in aid to humanitarian hotspots … “, 3.1.08, IP/08/7

EC, “Commission on Kenyan elections”, 31.12.07, IP/08/8

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