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05/01/2021 – HR/VP blog – Over the last weeks, we have witnessed a serious humanitarian crisis concerning hundreds of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The crisis is largely due to the dysfunctioning governance in the country. However, it also reminds us of the urgent need to update our common asylum and migration policy.

The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smaïl Chergui; the President of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Veríssimo; the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix; and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, take note of the provisional results of the first round of the presidential elections on 27 December as declared by the National Elections Authority (ANE) on 4 January 2021.

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The European Commission has announced today an additional €3.5 million in humanitarian aid to help vulnerable refugees and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina facing a humanitarian disaster. More than 1,700 refugees and migrants remain without appropriate shelter and support in Una Sana canton. After the closure of the reception centre in Lipa, which was not winter-proof and which also suffered a fire, 900 people are currently on the former campsite. In addition, a further 800 refugees and migrants are staying outdoors in harsh winter conditions, including children.

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The European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission (EC) have established a high-level traineeship programme which gives an opportunity to highly qualified junior professionals from the EU Member States to work in the EU Delegations worldwide.

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03/01/2021 – HR/VP blog – In 2021, we want to give fresh impetus to the partnership between the European Union and Africa. However, this partnership should not be limited to economic and political issues – culture and cultural exchanges should become a key part of it.

The resumption of talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) proposed for Sunday January 3 by African Union Chair South Africa offers an important opportunity for progress towards an agreement on the filling and related operations of the dam.

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We are witnessing a serious humanitarian situation involving migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 900 migrants remain without shelter in severe winter conditions after closure of the reception centre in Lipa. This further exacerbates the situation where approximately 3000 migrants are without proper shelter.

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On 31 December, Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee was executed in Iran, after being sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was 16 years old.

The European Union condemns this execution in the strongest terms and recalls yet again that the death sentences for crimes committed by persons below the age of eighteen are contrary to international obligations under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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The European Union strongly condemns the attack on Aden airport right after the ministers of the new, broad-based government had landed. This is an unacceptable act of violence that comes at a key moment of the implementation of the Riyadh agreement towards a comprehensive political solution.

The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes swift recovery to the injured.

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