BERLIN/DAKAR/ACCRA/ABUJA | | ghananigeria

BERLIN/DAKAR/ACCRA/ABUJA (Own report) - A central theme of Chancellor Angela Merkel's tour of African countries, which began yesterday, will be the expansion of the EU's defense against refugees. As government circles confirmed, following Merkel's talks yesterday in Senegal, she will also negotiate today in Ghana and tomorrow in Nigeria, steps for stopping people fleeing poverty, hopelessness and war and facilitate the deportation of refugees from Germany. In opinion polls, nearly half of the Senegalese, and around three-fourths of the Ghanaian and Nigerian respondents, signaled their wish to leave their country, because of dire poverty and a dramatically high youth unemployment rate. European companies are systematically destroying African jobs, for example, by overfishing the Senegalese coastline, thereby heavily damaging Senegal's fishery sector or by the EU's poultry dumping in Ghana, ruining the domestic poultry industry. Merkel does not intend to address these EU practices causing people to flee their countries. more…

BERLIN/N'DJAMENA/BAMAKO | | malitschadnigeria

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. more…

ABUJA/BERLIN | | nigeria

ABUJA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German Foreign Ministry is warning that unrest in Nigeria could escalate. The German government is "very worried" about developments in that country, declared the Africa Commissioner in the German Foreign Ministry. For years, Nigeria has been the scene of violent upheavals in the Niger Delta and more recently has been marked by an escalation of attacks by Islamist organizations. Over the past few weeks, a nationwide general strike has paralyzed the country, during the course of which, government repressive forces have killed at least nine people. The widespread impoverishment of broad sections of the population in this country rich in petroleum and natural gas is the primary reason for these protests. Germany is interested in more than only Nigeria's natural resources; Germany also attributes significant geo-strategic importance to Nigeria, as a western proxy in African conflicts as well as a deputy in fighting against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Apprehension is now growing in government circles in Berlin, that Nigeria could be politically destabilized, which, in the eyes of Germany, would reduce its geostrategic usefulness. By intensifying cooperation with Abuja, the German government is attempting to counteract this development. more…

ABUJA/BERLIN | | nigeria

ABUJA/BERLIN (Own report) - In the midst of accusations of corruption, Berlin is using a German president's state visit to Nigeria to expand business relations with this West African nation. Germany is interested, above all, in the country's natural gas deposits, the seventh largest in the world. The German Eon Corp. seeks to profit from its exploitation and shipment to Europe, which is why it has now promised billions in investments. Within the framework of an energy agreement that is accompanying the natural gas deal, numerous German companies concluded contracts in Nigeria, among them the Siemens Corp. Siemens had been recently placed on the Abuja government's blacklist, for having paid millions in bribery to Nigerian government officials. During this current visit, the German President Horst Koehler insisted that decisive measures be undertaken to fight corruption. Human Rights organizations are demanding the same, but note that those Nigerians fighting corruption are receiving little support from Berlin - in their efforts to investigate German banks, accused of money laundering. Experts on West Africa say the corruption used by a major German construction company is "notorious." more…

Accomplices

BERLIN/TRIPOLI/BENIN CITY | | nigeria

BERLIN/TRIPOLI/BENIN CITY (Own report) - With Germany participating, the EU's Frontex border security agency has renewed their pursuit of refugees and migrants off the coast of Libya. As reported by news agencies, it has launched its "Operation Nautilus III," in which European ships patrol also within Libyan territorial waters. Refugees and migrants picked up during the operation will be handed over to Tripoli. Libyan repressive forces have been accused of serious violations of refugees' and migrants' human rights. With this new Frontex operation, Germany is again taking part in measures that will force refugees and migrants, seeking passage to Europe, to take even more desperate routes, thereby compounding the widespread deaths on the EU's outer borders. Numerous women are also among these victims. The Germano-European border policy does not offer a possibility for legal entry and thereby forces a growing number of women into the hands of sexual slave traders, supplying the European prostitution market with women coerced into prostitution. In her discussion with german-foreign-policy.com, the publicist, Corinna Milborn, who investigated the sale of Nigerian women inside the EU, stated that the German state, through its border policy, should be considered as a de facto "accomplice" to sexual slavery. more…

Around Africa

PORT HARCOURT/PRETORIA/MOGADISHU | | nigeriasuedafrika

PORT HARCOURT/PRETORIA/MOGADISHU (Own report) - A NATO naval unit's trip around Africa is preparing the alliance's new military operations. The German Navy is also a participant. The military expedition of the "Standing NATO Maritime Group 1" (SNMG-1), that is already in progress, is qualified as historical by the alliance. Military maneuvers with African armies are planned, alongside the reconnaissance of African territorial waters. Rather than "exercises", the SNMG-1 announces it will carry out nondescript "presence operations" for several crisis regions, which are but partially covered by parliamentary mandates. NATO declares that these measures are in preparation for the security of mercantile trade routes and oil transports on the open seas. It has been negotiating with several European oil companies about intervening to protect production sites in Nigeria, the first stopover of this NATO operation. The Indian Ocean and the Red Sea are also viewed as possible theatres of intervention. more…

CIDADE DE PRAIA | | nigeriafrankreichchina

CIDADE DE PRAIA (Own report) - The June 22, German commanded, invasion of an island off the coast of West Africa, marks the last preliminary high point in the major maneuver of the NATO Response Force (NRF), before it passes the final test, proving its full combat readiness. The maneuver takes place in Cape Verde and therefore is the first maneuver that the western war alliance has held on African territory. And Germany is playing a distinguished role: the German general, Gerhard W. Back, is the commander of the maneuver, and the German military (Bundeswehr) is participating with a contingent of approximately 2,100 of the approx. 7,000 soldiers involved. The heads of governments and states would like to officially declare the NRF "combat ready," in November, at their next NATO summit in Riga. Its first envisaged theaters of operations are resource-rich areas of Africa. Since some time, Germany has been a leading competitor for African raw materials. more…