Region

North Africa and the Sahel

Stories under this heading cover North Africa and the Sahel. North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. It stretches from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania to Egypt's Suez Canal and the Red Sea. The Sahel spans from the eastern shores of the African continent, starting from Sudan and continuing up to the Atlantic shores of Mauritania and Senegal.

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News
West Africa's military governments play for time in the face of potential sanctions

West Africa's military governments play for time in the face of potential sanctions

Burkina Faso and Guinea have requested additional time to present a plan to hand back power to civilians and reinstate democratic rule following an ultimatum by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which had set a deadline for Monday, 25 April. In Conakry as in Ouagadougou, where the military recently seized power by force, the transitional authorities are asking for more time to pursue consultations, according to an ECOWAS communiqué issued on 27 April. The potential impact of these sanctions on poor, landlocked countries has caused great concern, but also widespread resentment, beyond Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, against regional organisations.
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Analysis
Macron gets a second chance to push for a new type of French partnership with Africa

Macron gets a second chance to push for a new type of French partnership with Africa

The re-election of Emmanuel Macron as President of the French Republic was the occasion for many congratulations from African heads of state with most leaders hailing the French president's "brilliant" election. Yet on the continent, not everyone is so enthusiastic, and speculation is high how France’s Africa policy will play out during Macron’s second term. The silence of Bamako, Conakry and Ouagadougou reflects the challenges of Emmanuel Macron's African policy in the years to come. Macron has put a great deal of energy into opening a new chapter in the relationship between France and Africa, but the results have been below expectations. A sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship is very important in these new, uncertain times. Whether it is through the gas alternative proposed by some North African countries, or the emergence of new partnerships in the Sahel and in English-speaking Africa, France will have to play a prominent role and has much to gain from being close with Africa. 
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Germany ponders its future role in the Sahel

Germany ponders its future role in the Sahel

Germany’s minister of foreign affairs Annalena Baerbock is visiting the Sahel ahead of a government decision on extending the Bundeswehr’s mission in the region. Amidst renewed political instability and terrorist activity in the Sahel, Baerbock must decide whether German troops will continue their commitment to MINUSMA - the UN peacekeeping mission in the region – and the EUTM, the European Union Training Mission. 300 German soldiers participate in the EUTM mission in Mali, while approximately 1000 soldiers are stationed there as part of MINUSMA. However, beyond the terrorist threat in the region, which has already caused 2.1 million internal displacements in the past 8 years according to the UN, it is the war in Ukraine which could have the most direct repercussions in West Africa. Ukraine, the world’s fifth-largest exporter of wheat, is currently incapable of delivering wheat flour to the Sahel region, causing food insecurity for millions of people.