2018/03/29 – When news first emerged that four American special operators and five Nigeriens had been killed in a deadly ambush on the 4th of October 2017, it catapulted the hitherto, little-known United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) presence in Niger into the limelight. Almost immediately, Senators were poring back over the documents they had been briefed on concerning United States (U.S.) combat operations in the region. Many of them admitted they had not been aware of the scale or nature of the US presence in Niger. Some commentators suggested they should have been paying more attention. Lora Lumpe and Jacob Marx of the Open Society Foundation stated, “Either the Pentagon has not been informing Congress, or it is sending updates…but nobody is reading them.” Continuer à lire … « Niger – Special Forces Opacity: Dangers for the U.K. »
2018/03/07 – Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva discussed bilateral relations with the Arab countries during a working lunch Tuesday with their Sofia-based ambassadors held on the initiative of Palestinian Ambassador Ahmad al-Madbouh, who is dean of the diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, said the Foreign Ministry. Economic cooperation and the commercial exchange were among the highlights of the discussion. Continuer à lire … « Algeria – Bulgaria’s Top Diplomat, Arab Ambassadors Discuss Bilateral Relations, Regional Conflicts #NorthAfrica »
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet has approved extending Germany’s military deployments in Afghanistan, Mali and several other nations — but only for three months as she seeks to form a new government.
The dpa news agency reported Wednesday the Cabinet also approved continuing reconnaissance flights in support of the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, training Kurdish militias in northern Iraq, and other missions.
Extending the deployments still needs parliamentary approval but the move is not expected to be contentious.
Germany normally extends such missions for a year but after winning September’s election Merkel is now seeking to form a new government. The three-month extension is expected to give her enough time to do that, and after that the new government will have to readdress the issue.