Germany’s New Focus on Niger
The German Bundeswehr mission in Mali is slowly coming to an end while a new mission in Niger is just starting to gain importance. In March, a Bundeswehr mandate took effect that allows up to 60 soldiers to be deployed in Niger as part of the new European Union Military Partnership Mission. The Bundeswehr will support the Niger armed forces in building up capabilities. The importance of the mission was underscored by the visit of both German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and Development Minister Svenja Schulze to Niger on April 12.
Security in the Sahel region is in Germany’s particular interest. We are ending our military involvement in minusma [United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali], but we remain committed to the region. … The focus of our future military engagement in the Sahel will be in Niger. In doing so, we will coordinate closely and in a spirit of trust with our [Niger] partners.
Niger’s needs: Niger has invited the EU to participate in a military partnership mission to support the Niger armed forces to strengthen their own capacity. The mission includes the establishment of a technical school and a command support battalion as well as the specialized supplementary training for existing units.
Germany’s goals: The German government sees the region as a threat to its own security. The Sahel region is known for instability and violence. Germany’s goal is to prevent further escalations by providing military and developmental aid.
- The UN considers the Sahel to be the epicenter of global terrorism.
- Around 10 million children in the region are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
- It is seen as the fastest-growing refugee movement globally, with almost 4.2 million people being forced to leave their homes in recent years and 1.3 million people since the beginning of last year alone.
- Internal displacement in the Sahel has increased 10-fold since 2013.
Shift in focus: It’s also important to note that the mission is led by the EU rather than the United States. Europe is closer to the crisis zone and more impacted by refugee flows. The terrorism in the region means an increased terrorism threat for Europe. But the natural resources in the region are also an opportunity for Europe, if the region can be further developed.
There are two prophetic trends to watch:
- Germany’s military involvement in the region is prophesied to lead to a clash with Iran (Daniel 11:40). Read Germany’s Secret Strategy to Destroy Iran, by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.
- And Europe’s rise to become the merchants of the world is prophesied in Revelation 18. To learn how this may involve the use of Africa’s resources, read “Fueling an Empire.”