BERLIN/PARIS/BAMAKO | | maliburkinaniger

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. more…

BERLIN/ROME/AGADEZ | | niger

BERLIN/ROME/AGADEZ (Own report) - German Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, is calling for the deployment of an EU border protection mission along Libya's border with Niger. Because, so far, efforts to seal the border have not had the desired results, further steps must be taken and "fact-finding missions" should be dispatched to the Libyan-Nigerien desert, de Maizière and his Italian counterpart wrote last week in a letter addressed to the EU Commission. By exerting political pressure and offering training programs, Berlin and Brussels had - successfully - induced the Nigerien repressive organs to intervene against undesirable migrants. However, as was to have been expected, the migrants are now taking alternative - and much more dangerous - routes. According to local human rights groups, this is a direct consequence of European pressure leading to a significant rise in the number of deaths along the transit route through the Sahara. Observers report that the EU is proposing agricultural projects to the impoverished town of Agadez, situated in the middle of the desert - an absurd substitution for its loss of income through the lucrative migration business. more…