Sunday, January 26, 2014

Germany Seeks Bigger Military Role in Africa

Germany seeks bigger military role in Africa

Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:48PM GMT

France offloads cost of African crimes
Germany’s new defense minister has said that her country should broaden its military engagement in Africa by boosting the training mission in Mali and backing the French intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday that she is seeking to increase the number of military trainers in Mali from 180 personnel to up to 250.

Leyen added that a medical service airbus is to be sent to support the French mission in CAR.

“Germany cannot look the other way when murder and rape are a daily occurrence, if only for humanitarian reasons,” the first female defense minister, said.

Leyen, also a powerful member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet, stressed that European national armies should unite as a European military, saying, “Unified armed forces are a logical consequence of an ever-increasing military cooperation in Europe.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller said Berlin has planned to expand its aid activities in Africa, particularly in Mali.

Chaos broke out in the West African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012.

In January 2013, France launched a war on Mali under the pretext of halting the advance of rebel fighters in the country.

France also invaded its former colony, the Central African Republic, on December 5, 2013, after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country.

Paris has sent 1,600 troops in the country, claiming the mission is aimed at creating stability in CAR and to allow humanitarian aid to reach violence-hit areas.

Meanwhile, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on January 25, that France’s military would reduce the number of French forces in Mali to 1,000.

No comments: