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Germany Reaffirms Support For Anti-terrorism Fight In Sahel Region

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The German Government has reiterated its commitment to continue supporting the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region of Africa.
German Defence Minister, Christine Lambrecht gave the assurance during her recent visit to West African country of Niger.

Germany is part of the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Niger, which helps train Nigerien security forces. Germany also supports the G5 Sahel, a group in which Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso fight together against militias in the region.

The minister said it is Europe and Germany’s responsibility to maintain a presence in the Sahel, a vast region that stretches across northern parts of Africa and which is home to numerous terrorist groups.

She also noted that the Nigerien government representatives had assured her that they would not cooperate with mercenaries, adding that the issues relating to anti-terrorism efforts in the region is of great concern to European governments.

Lambrecht also visited German soldiers in the neighbouring crisis-hit country of Mali, which has been ruled for almost a year by a military junta that maintains close contacts with Russia.

According to a report by GermanyToday, Hundreds of Russian me“rcenaries from the Wagner Group are reportedly operating in Mali.

It is now critical for the European Union (EU) to decide how to fight terrorism in the Sahel region, which includes Mali, without supporting cooperation with mercenaries”, she said.

Niger, with its nearly 25 million inhabitants, is considered an important partner of Europe’s against the expansion of Islamist terror.

Many militias are active in Niger, some of which have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State or al-Qaeda. For the last two years, Niger has been at war with Boko Haram. The conflict has disrupted this poor country’s development, especially public finances, and destabilised the south east, the main scene of armed clashes.

In this region, located some 1,350km from the capital and faced with an economic collapse, the battle against Boko Haram has stoked up local intercommunal tensions and exacerbated violence over access to resources.

Despite direct support from Chadian troops since 2015 and improved collaboration with the Nigerian army, Nigerien forces have been unable to put a stop to attacks by insurgents, some of whom have links to the Islamic State (IS). The military option has produced results but has also shown its limits.

However, unlike Mali, the democratically elected government of President Mohamed Bazoum is seen as a reliable ally.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=75680

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