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Combat flight causes : Why Merkel's migration policy depends on elections in Africa

In Africa, almost every year is a super election year. 55 countries of the continent. There will always be elected somewhere. This year, there are at least 20 c

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Combat flight causes : Why Merkel's migration policy depends on elections in Africa

In Africa, almost every year is a super election year. 55 countries of the continent. There will always be elected somewhere. This year, there are at least 20 countries, in which a new President, governors, national parliaments or municipal councils.

From the German point of view especially three rounds of elections are interesting: the presidential elections in Nigeria, Senegal and Algeria. The three countries are important allies of Germany. They play a Central role in the Africa policy of the Federal government. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants the three partner States to help her in the fight against Migration. Whether your strategy is succeeding, however, is questionable.

Nigeria: between poverty and terrorism

From Nigeria, where on 16. February, presidential and parliamentary elections take place, to flee, especially a lot of people to Europe. Tens of thousands of visitors a year. In a survey conducted by the American PEW Institute in the year 2017, two-thirds said they would leave Nigeria on a loved one. Meanwhile, Nigerians make up the largest group of refugees set out by Libya on the "Central Mediterranean route" to Europe.

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Almost 10,000 2018 made in Germany, an asylum application, although, you have the legal view on protection. order Flee from poverty in their homeland, but also in front of violence. The could now escalate, fear experts.

Since the peaceful change of power in the year 2015, as Muhammadu Buhari (76) was elected President, had increased the tension in Nigeria, stated in a report of the "United States Institute of Peace".

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari.Photo: REUTERS

especially within the ruling party, the APC Riva different groups compete. Since years of poverty in the country, nothing changes, half of the 190 million Nigerians lives on less than two dollars a day, creates additional conflicts. In many places, have been fighting ranchers and farmers. The ethnic tensions are high. The Islamists of the terrorist organization "Boko Haram rampage in the North of the country." Not good conditions for the elections in February.

The Federal government will continue to monitor the Situation certainly precisely – because of the situation in Nigeria depends on whether Merkel's rise Plan for the country. The resource-rich state's second most important trading partner of Germany, South of the Sahara. Merkel wants to expand the cooperation in the future. Your goal: fight to escape causes.

Merkel wants to create a local "perspectives"

The Chancellor wants to ensure that fewer people flee from Nigeria. So, local farmers should be helped in the future with loans. German companies to invest locally. During a visit in August 2018, Merkel said: "We have to provide for the population perspectives." This is likely to be difficult, however, you should escalate the violence ahead of the Nigerian elections in February.

At the time of their trip to Africa in the summer of 2018, the Chancellor visited the Senegal. There, the 57-year-old President Macky Sall at 24 want to. February will be re-elected. His chances are good, especially because the most promising contender – sits his namesake, Khalifa Sall in prison. Officially because of corruption, the Opposition considers politically motivated. Allegations of the lack of the rule of law the President rejects. Nevertheless, some see the Senegalese model of democracy in danger. 21. January will decide the constitutional Council on the final list of candidates.

Senegal's head of state, Macky Sall.Photo: Yoan Valat//REUTERS

That President Sall is elected in February, is in the interest of the Federal government. In the case of Merkel's visit half a year ago he offered himself as a Partner in the fight against smuggling and trafficking. "We want to fight against illegal Migration", said Sall. This was a "question of the Dignity of Africa".

Senegal is engaged in the Region, approximately 1100 soldiers for peace-the United Nations mission in the embattled neighboring country of Mali, a "transit state" for many on the way to Europe. The Federal government estimates for salls will, to provide in West Africa for stability and so may be the Migration limit.

But just for salls country many people want to leave as quickly as possible. According to the PEW Institute, every third Senegalese plans, within the next five years to emigrate. Although the economic growth is more than six percent. However, Jobs for young people remain scarce. Critics see the debt also in the case of Sall, which has ruled since 2012. The question of whether Sall Merkel can support the fight against Migration from Africa really.

Berlin relies on the transit state, Algeria

is A reliable Partner to the Chancellor of Algeria's President Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika. The 81-Year-old is since 20 years in office, and in April a sixth Time for the election. From the point of view of the Federal government, that is a good thing. Because "Boutef", as the President is known for short, is a close ally of Berlin. He is regarded as a guarantor of stability and order, internal and foreign policies.

supporters of Algeria's President Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika, during a Demonstration in Tunis ahead of the 2014 elections.Photo: Zoubeir Souissi/REUTERS

Algeria is a classic transit country for migrants from the South and is therefore in the focus of the Federal government. It is located between Morocco and Libya, from where many of the refugees with the boat to Europe for a break. In recent years, the Algerian government has declined, according to the UNHCR, rabidly against migrants, had some even in the desert of suspend. In General, the human rights situation in the country difficult.

Berlin continues, nevertheless, to Algiers, when it comes to prevent migrants to travel to Europe.

In the autumn of 2017, the Chancellor visited Boutelflika to discuss the topic. She met a frail man. The President is seriously ill, since 2013, to a wheelchair. In public appearances he avoids.

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migration policy to understand Why Germany is nothing against causes of Flight in Africa

Paul Starzmann

Already several times there were rumors that the old President is dead. It is unclear how long it is allowed to him by his physical Constitution to remain in office – even if he wins as expected, the election in April. He should die, could be the internal political power structure from the government, the military and the secret service begins to falter. In the fight against Migration, Merkel would then have a reliable Partner less. For the strategy for Africa that would be bad.

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