Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou is appealing for help for his country. It's contributed several hundred troops to the fight against Islamist militants in Mali. That's costing money Niger cannot afford.
The German defense minister has called Niger a strategic partner "in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration." Nearly 900 German troops are deployed in the Sahel region, including 40 in Niger.
In its efforts to staunch the flow of migrants from Africa, Germany sees Niger as a key partner. But it risks supporting a president who is becoming increasingly authoritarian, warns DW's Thomas Mösch.
Chancellor Merkel is headed for Algeria to find ways to boost trade with the Mediterranean nation. But the complicated issue of migration will loom over her talks as Berlin looks for ways to stem irregular migration.
The assessment of the Mali elections by the European Union's chief electoral observer, Cecile Kyenge, is that there were no grave incidents. But the poll was not problem-free, says DW correspondent Katrin Gänsler.
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