No EU Military Interventions in Africa

Written by | Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

German Development Minister, Gerd Mueller, said that there were no military possibilities for Europe in Africa, thus responding to French calls for more military involvement of Bundeswehr. Mr Mueller believes that an appropriate development policy, rather than military exercises, should be the top priority. He also added that there should be no development money allocated to military interventions or arms and weapons.
The development minister is calling for a strict division between the European Development Fund or financing development as such and the Union’s security policy. Mixing the two would be a direct attack on the legitimacy of the European development policy. In his opinion, there are absolutely no options for Europe to intervene in Africa in a military way because neither reconstruction, sanitation or housing, nor settlements or infrastructure, are tasks for the military.
Mr Mueller is also convinced that Europe has to shift network security to network development. The former concept was pioneered by the German government and was based on the idea that security considerations should not be perceived only in military terms but also in civilian ones. In contrast, Mueller’s idea of “network development” should include three parts – stability and security in the country (1), security of people’s livelihoods (2), and definition of the future (3). Yet, this idea has been criticized by analysts of the German Institute for International and Security Studies saying that such an approach can hardly make a difference in conflict zones.
In the run-up to the EU-Africa Summit, Europe demonstrates internal disagreements about the main agenda of one of its core policies on the global stage. Unlike France, which is promoting more military presence on the African continent, Germany is of the opinion that the recent increase of EU troops in Africa is not the way the EU should go. Brussels has lately strengthened its presence in the Central African Republic by sending about 1,000 soldiers who are supposed to help 6,000 African and 2,000 French soldiers who are already there.

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