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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Human Rights and security situation in the Sahel region

12.6.2012 - (2012/2680(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Judith Sargentini, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Barbara Lochbihler on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0305/2012

Procedure : 2012/2680(RSP)
Stadium plenaire behandeling
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European Parliament resolution on Human Rights and security situation in the Sahel region


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  Whereas the Sahel region instability, combined with severe drought affecting about 16 million people, constitutes a serious threat for democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and the right for a decent livelihood of the population including socio-economic rights,


B.  Worried by the situation in Mali and the situation of the Tuareg which has a direct consequence on Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso, if it is not democratically handled,


C.  Whereas the drought in the Sahel is spread from Cameroon, northern Nigeria and Burkina Faso to Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Gambia.


D.  Whereas the growing unrest in the Sahel region over the past few years has been further exacerbated by the presence of drug traffickers and terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda Maghreb, Boko Haram ,

E.  Whereas the region is flooded with arms since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi, fuelling al Qaida-linked insurgence movements and a growing number of Islamic separatists,


F.  Whereas NATO intervention in Libya, acting under a UN Security Council decision, had not fully considered the collateral humanitarian and security consequences of the fall of the Gaddafi regime for the ACP countries, especially those of the Sahel-Saharan region,


G.  Whereas the Sahel countries have natural resources such as arable land for agriculture, minerals such as uranium, gold, oil,


H.  Whereas lack of meaningful socio-economic development, fair distribution of resources, high rate of youth unemployment, chronic poverty, lack of job security played an important role for the recruitment of youth by terrorist groups,


I.  Recalling that since the 1980s, African countries were pressured by international financial institutions, such as IMF, World Bank and World trade Organisations to implement policies such as dismantling tariff, removing price control and removing subsidies on agricultural inputs, which has contributed to weakening the State capacity to provide public services for the population such as education, access to health.. etc


J.  Whereas despite the organisation of periodical elections in the countries of the region for the past 20 years, as was the case in Mali, governments of these countries failed to address the root causes of poverty to prevent the development of terrorist groups and drug traffickers activities,

1  Believes that a solution to the drought and insecurity in the Sahel will be possible if the underlying political, economic, social and environmental problems are comprehensively addressed, which implies respect for human rights, fair access to resources, ensuring sustainable development of the regions and redistribution of wealth, guaranteeing the basic rights of the population,


2  Is of the view that human rights are indivisible and all aspects of human rights including respect for socio-economic rights, without which respect for human rights cannot be realised,


3  Calls on the Malian authorities and the Tuareg liberation movement to reach a peaceful and lasting solution through a constructive dialogue,


4  Calls for a comprehensive approach for human rights, which can not be reduced to only periodic elections; believes that democracy in its wider sense encompasses fulfilment of socio-economic rights such as access to food, education, health care, employment , housing, redistribution of wealth, decent livelihood ...etc


5  Call on the Sahel countries' government to address their citizens political, economic and social concerns through democratic, transparent institutional reform and sustainable economic development strategy in consultation with all stake holders,


6  Believes that there is urgent need to support initiatives aimed at strengthening dialogue and increasing the ability of local communities to resist and counter the appeal of terrorism and the recruitment of young people by terrorist and other criminal groups, including through support for youth employment and training;


7  Calls on the Sahel governments and European Union to mobilise all means and resources to promote development and provide a better standard of living for the population, which is crucial to bring long lasting peace and security in the region, in cooperation with the states in the region and the inter-state organisations ECOWAS and WAEMU;


8  Urges the states of the Sahel-Sahara region, the new Libyan authorities and the competent multilateral agencies to take all necessary measures to stop the proliferation of arms in the region and to establish adequate mechanisms to control and secure national borders across the region, including the transfer of small arms and light weapons and implement programmes for collecting and destroying illegal small arms and light weapons, and institute measures for exchanging information and launching joint security operations in the region;


9  Welcomes the establishment in 2010 of the Joint Staff Operations Committee (CEMOC) by Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to coordinate the fight against terrorism, organised crime and drug trafficking in the Sahel-Saharan region; Calls on the international community in general, and the EU in particular, to step up their cooperation with the countries of the Sahel-Saharan region and with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the fight against terrorism and organised crime in the sub-region, especially by increasing the resources available to the Joint Staff Operations Committee (CEMOC) in its mission to secure the Sahel-Saharan strip;


10  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU, the Commission, and the Security Council of the UN, African Union, and ECOWAS.