The Militarization of the Sahel (II)

 

BERLIN/PARIS/BAMAKO(Own report) – Nearly five years after the European military mission was launched in Mali, experts are describing the country’s situation as a disaster and warning against Berlin and Paris’ further militarization of the Sahel. Mali “has never” seen “such a level of violence” as “currently,” says a former French diplomat. The regional conflicts cannot be solved militarily, explained the International Crisis Group, a pro-western think tank, using the example of a Burkinabe province at the border with Mali, where, even though it was possible to suppress jihadi unrest, for the time being, the conflict can again flare up at any time, because the reasons for the unrest have not been dealt with. Nevertheless, the German government supports the creation of an intervention force of the “G5 Sahel” group of countries, which launched its first military operation yesterday. Despite the disastrous consequences of militarization, the Bundeswehr is using the Mali mission as the focus of its PR campaign.

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The Militarization of West Africa

BERLIN/N’DJAMENA/BAMAKO (Own report) – Berlin is using today’s visit of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to enhance its rapidly growing military influence in West Africa. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to Africa early this week has already revealed Germany’s growing military importance on the African continent. According to reports, a “change” can already be noted, particularly in Mali. Traditionally within France’s exclusive sphere of influence, the EU, “fundamentally under German leadership,” is now increasingly determining that country’s development. The German government is also expanding the Bundeswehr’s activities and the supply of military hardware to Niger and Chad, along with the construction of a military base in Niger’s capital Niamey. Berlin is also seeking to obtain influence in the war against Boko Haram in Nigeria. The first accords on support measures had already been reached with Nigeria last year. Germany is enhancing its network of influence in West Africa by increasing the deployment of expeditionary troops, the establishment of military bases and by supplying military aid. This could possibly reduce France’s traditional political and military predominance in its former colonies.

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Forced to Flee (II)

KABUL/BERLIN/BAMAKO (Own report) – Berlin is legitimizing German military intervention by alleging it is to combat the causes of fleeing. The Bundeswehr must undertake operations in Mali, “so that people will no longer have to flee the violence and hopelessness,” claimed Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, early this week during her visit in Mali’s capital Bamako. She is using the current refugee crisis in Germany to arouse sympathy for the Bundeswehr’s interventions. However, with its aggressive foreign policy, Germany is actively helping create the causes for people to flee. A prime example is the Federal Republic of Germany’s Afghan policy since the 1980s. Together with other western governments, Bonn had exacerbated the Afghan civil war with its support for the Mujahidin. Millions of Afghans had to flee the country and Afghanistan has never recovered from its political, economic, and social devastation. The Bundeswehr’s deployment in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 and whose main mission was ended last year, has provoked a new wave of refugees.

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