Administrator8. November 2020 at 15:54
Black&White-Webinar with Grit Lenz from Fokus Sahel, Saturday, 14 November, 7 pm (Ghana: 6 pm) in English – Saturday, 14 November, 4 pm (Ghana 3pm) in German
Log in here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3216854044
In no country in the world is the number of refugees growing faster than in Burkina Faso in West Africa (1). The UNO refugee agency reports of unimaginable brutality experienced by refugees in the region (2). A civil society network of initiatives in the Sahel region has formed in and from Germany: Focus Sahel (3). In her presentation, the coordinator of this network, Grit Lenz, will describe the situation in the countries of the Sahel region and the efforts of Fokus Sahel. We also want to discuss with her how to counteract the spread of violence to West African coastal countries, such as Ghana. What can be done to encourage initiatives in the more stable countries of the region to join forces for a West Africa of peace with forces in the Sahel region?
Throughout the Sahel region, human security has deteriorated dramatically over the past decade. NATO’s military intervention in Libya has been the main accelerator. African politicians had seen the danger and warned the NATO countries that Gaddafi was about to fall. Further military interventions by the states responsible for the war did not improve the situation. On the contrary. The lack of prospects, especially for young people, is the ground on which violence is spreading to more and more countries, and climate change is having drastic effects on agriculture. And the impact of US and EU agricultural subsidies on farmers in the region. The existing state structures, which are mainly used to their advantage by a small elite linked to corporations from the industrialised countries in the resource-rich region, are not suited to ensure stability.
What are initiatives in the countries doing to fight for peace and human rights? How can they be supported?
Helmut Asche and others have written a concept paper on the challenges facing the region; with a working group in the VAD (Association for African Studies) to German and European policymakers (4).
We encourage you to look at the links for the preparation of the webinar; if you find other good sources, add them here for others interested.
„The consequences of the Libyan conflict for Africa“ rifts between the AU and the West, destabilisation of the Sahel zone were predicted by the Foundation for Science and Politics as early as 2012 (5). The civil war and the NATO intervention in Libya are having an impact on Africa and European Africa policy, to which too little attention has been paid so far. In the short and medium term there is a threat of further destabilisation of the Sahel zone. The conflict in northern Mali that broke out again in January 2012 is a direct consequence of the Libyan civil war, as are the return of fighters from Libya and the increase in arms smuggling. The Libyan conflict has also created new obstacles to regional cooperation in the Sahel. No less serious are the medium- and long-term international consequences of NATO intervention. It has caused a dispute between African and Western states, which threatens to expose the often-cited „partnership at eye level“ as a declaratory policy. Dealing with the crisis has also created tensions within the African Union, which will affect the organisation’s ability to act both internally and externally.
For these reasons, German and European Africa policy must respond at several levels. Europe needs to modify its approach to the Sahel, because until now the EU has primarily wanted to strengthen the security forces in the region. This not only ignores the real problems, but could even fuel conflicts and make regional cooperation more difficult. Instead, the EU should place far more emphasis on promoting regional efforts and involve Libya and Algeria more decisively in its Sahel strategy. A functioning AU will become even more important for Europe in the future. Germany and the EU should therefore make an effort to fill in the political rifts that have been created by dealing with the Libyan conflict.
So far, there has been no public discussion on the results of the NATO military intervention in Libya; after all, Development Minister Müller made a clear statement years ago: „Libya’s intervention was a „big mistake“ „After five years, we are facing complete disaster“ (6).
Please forward the link and invite potential interested parties so that together we can raise awareness of developments and contribute to a peacebuilding policy.
The following sources are in German. One way to read them: Translate them for example with https://www.deepl.com/
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