French ground forces are heading to northern Mali to fight Islamist rebels. A West African regional force is expected to join the conflict in the coming days, with logistical help from Germany.
Fearing ostracism by their family, or even death, many former Muslims keep their disbelief secret. A German organization offers support to people who leave Islam for another religion, or for none.
The first troops from a joint Franco-German military brigade are to be deployed to Mali.The soldiers are to operate in a support and training role for forces already in the West African state.
Ahead of the French-German summit this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged more engagement in Africa and closer military collaboration with Paris. But is there true conviction behind her promises?
Berlin and Paris long struggled to find common ground. But now they’ve discovered a new level of unity and could motivate others to take up joint projects, believes Christoph Hasselbach.
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