KW 19: Proposal for migration reform, Libyan government rejects ceasefire, intellectuals demand own African way in the crisis

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Proposal for migration reform: To simplify legal migration from Africa to Europe, the German Council of Experts on Migration (SVR) is proposing a new system. People from Africa who want to migrate to Europe could, in return for a temporary work visa, leave a deposit at the German embassy in their country of origin. If they leave the country, the money would be returned to them. SVR chairwoman Petra Bendel said that the topic of migration had been “relegated to the background” in the media in the wake of Corona. She added that Europe was dependent on migration, not least because of demographic developments. After the expiry of their work visa, the immigrants would go back to their home countries and contribute to development with the money earned there. Afterwards they could apply for a new visa.

Bundeswehr soldiers injured in Mali: An incident occurred in Mali in which five German soldiers were injured. Apparently, during a patrol in a vehicle the ammunition in a smoke grenade was triggered. How the incident occurred is still unclear.

Libyan government rejects ceasefire: The internationally recognized Libyan government rejected the ceasefire proposed by General Haftar. They wanted to continue “to eradicate illegal armed groups”. Haftar had previously announced that he did not want to fight again until the end of Ramadan. The United Nations had also called for a ceasefire to prevent further spread of the corona virus. Most recently, Haftar’s troops had suffered some military setbacks.

South Africa fights Coronavirus: Apparently, South Africa seems to have the outbreak of the corona virus better under control than initially feared. So far, the country reports only 5350 cases of infection. The mortality rate is 1.3 percent. Michael Ryan, Director of the World Health Organization’s Emergency Programme, said: “A lot of innovative things are happening on the African continent. He praised South Africa in particular: “South Africa’s approach to getting Covid-19 under control is remarkable, some even groundbreaking”. Due to the strict restrictions imposed by the South African government, many people are suffering from hunger; the economy is largely at a standstill. The first easing of the restrictions is now underway. In some sectors of the economy, production is to be increased to 50 percent, many shops are to be allowed to sell more products again, and the wine industry, which has been so battered, is to be allowed to export abroad again.

Anti-Apartheid fighter Denis Goldberg died: Denis Goldberg, one of the most important fighters against the apartheid system in South Africa, has died at the age of 87. Goldberg had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 together with Nelson Mandela for his activism. After the end of apartheid, he worked for a time as an advisor to the then Minister of Water and Forestry, Ronnie Kasrils.

Attacks on park rangers in the Congo: On a road in the Virunga National Park in Congo, 13 gamekeepers and five civilians were killed in attacks. The director of Congo’s conservation agency ICCN, Cosma Wilungula, said the day of the attacks was one of the deadliest in the park’s history. According to the park administration, the attackers were members of the FDLR-Foca, a Hutu rebel group. They originally attacked the local population, and the park rangers were only defending them. Their president, Victor Byiringiro, was the target of an attack by the Rwandan army two weeks ago. The rangers were militarily upgraded by the EU last year. They are accused, especially by Congolese Hutu, of abusing their power. In the past, the rangers are said to have destroyed houses in the park. Rumour has it that recently local civil defence forces have joined forces with the FDLR to take action against the rangers.

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Border closures particularly affect Africans: The border closures of many countries are causing a great deal of trouble for African trade. 43 of 45 African countries have temporarily closed their borders. The African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and a common African passport should actually be implemented by 2020. The corona pandemic has temporarily put a damper on these plans. According to the African Union, the border closures would have “a devastating effect on health, the economy and social stability in many African countries”. Meanwhile, the Impfallianz GAV warned that vaccines would become scarce in some states. Although this problem has now been solved, many African states still rely on permeable borders to transport goods, but also for people who travel to other countries to work. “Mobility is part of everyday life for most Africans. You go somewhere else for a while, work, earn income and send it to your family, acquire skills and bring them back, create networks across borders,” says Robert Kappel, professor emeritus of the Institute for African Studies at the University of Leipzig.

Intellectuals demand own African way in the crisis: African intellectuals have written an open letter addressed to the heads of state of African countries. The manifesto was written by Amy Niang, a lecturer in international relations, the Senegalese economist Ndongo Sambal Sylla and the law lecturer Lionel Zevounou, and signed by over a hundred African intellectuals. They criticise the way African countries are dealing with the Corona pandemic, arguing that it is based on the European model without taking African peculiarities into account: “The majority of the population must get out to earn money. Many are also used to working in times of crisis. They also have experience with epidemics. If there had been room for other ideas, they might have found another solution. But the global direction is set and everyone has to stick to it. In my view, this is a problem”. Another letter from African intellectuals calls for Africa to reflect on its own strengths: “Africa needs leaders who are not only interested in its wealth of natural resources, but who have empathy for its people and whose dignity is close to their hearts.

Islamists increasingly operating in Mozambique: Islamist terrorist groups are increasingly concentrated in the Cabo Delgado region in northern Mozambique. On 8 April this year, 52 people were murdered there by jihadists. The Catholic Archbishop of Cabo Delgado, Dom Luis Fernando Lisboa, estimates that at least 200,000 people in Mozambique’s north-east have been driven from their villages in the past three years. The group carrying out the attacks is apparently an offshoot of the Islamic State (IS). According to the Mozambican government, the terrorists are said to come from abroad, especially from Tanzania. Although Cabo Delgado is sparsely populated, it is rich in natural gas. The security situation in the region is therefore a particular priority for the government. “The insecure situation in the region is hampering our efforts to achieve greater prosperity and development,” said Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi.


The European Union is paying almost 100 million Euros to the Libyan coast guard to prevent fugitives from crossing the Mediterranean. Human rights organisations criticise the camps, where the fugitives are often held in inhumane conditions.


“600 million people in Africa still do not have access to electricity. If everyone could get a coal-based power outlet, hundreds of new coal-fired power plants would have to be built.”

German Development Minister Gerd Müller calls for African development aid to be combined with environmental protection.


People flee from Southern Europe to North Africa: At present, many refugees apparently dare to cross from Southern Europe to North Africa and pay large sums of money to smugglers. Due to the corona pandemic, the economy in Spain and Italy has come to a standstill. Many refugees therefore no longer see any prospects in Europe.

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