The month of August has seen another drastic increase in terrorism in West Africa. Mali and Burkina Faso have both been hit by major attacks. In response to the violence, the two nations have joined with Mauritania, Niger and Chad to form a new force to combat Islamic extremism in the region. The group is receiving support from Europe, and an internal document of the European External Action Service now shows that Germany and France will supply the group with lethal equipment.
On August 13, at least 18 people were killed and 20 injured in a shooting outside a restaurant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. That city had suffered its bloodiest terrorist attack to date last year on January 15 when 30 people were murdered at a hotel. Despite increased police and security efforts, the country has found itself unable to prevent the spread of terrorism. The lives of Westerners are at particular risk, while locals live under intimidation and terror. Terrorist activity is straining businesses and causing some people to flee for safety.
On August 14, terrorists killed seven in an attack on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. Since the mission in Mali began in 2013, it has been the deadliest UN mission in the world. In 2012, Islamic extremists were spreading throughout major towns in northern Mali. France, which controlled Mali as part of French Sudan in the 1800s, intervened in its former colony at the beginning of 2013. French forces successfully drove out many of the Islamist groups, but terrorist attacks have continued.
Mali and Burkina Faso are part of the Sahel region in west and north-central Africa, a place where terrorist groups like Boko Haram and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have flourished. Recently, another group called Ansarul Islam (Defenders of Islam) has risen in Burkina Faso, killing troops and civilians.
To combat the violence, the five nations of the Sahel region have agreed to form a 5,000-strong joint force that will be known as “G5 Sahel.” The force is scheduled to be fully operational by September. Earlier this year, the African nations requested European financial aid to support their mission.
France promised its support in the beginning of July and promoted the African nations’ efforts to other European members. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen also promised support for the new multinational military force during her recent trip to Niger. She and French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said they believe that the Sahel force is West Africa’s best hope for defeating the militants.
“We are convinced that the G5 Sahel force will find the solutions to the problems of the region,” Parly said.
While the two visited Niamey, Niger, von der Leyen said France and Germany will help the African countries “defend their security and stability and fight against terror and organized crime” (Trumpet translation throughout). The European Union plans to provide €50 million (us$59 million) to support the troops.
After the August 13 terrorist attack in Burkina Faso, the country also accepted Germany’s offer to train its soldiers in German military training camps.
An internal document of the European External Action Service shows that the governments of Berlin and Paris intend not only to provide training and infrastructure to the G5 Sahel force, but also to supply weapons, ammunition and military vehicles, Spiegel Online reported on August 17. It referenced an exchange between the EU external service and the Political and Security Policy Committee in Brussels.
France and Germany also advertised the project among other European members. Von der Leyen said that both Italy and Spain have expressed interest. Both of these nations have been hit severely by the recent refugee crisis.
“Northern Africa is turning into a battleground with enormously important prophetic implications,” wrote editor in chief Gerald Flurry in the April 2013 Trumpet issue. He discussed the spread of Iran-backed terror groups but also warned that “Iran isn’t the only one interested in Africa. Germany is making strong inroads as well. Both of these powers are racing to get as much control of North Africa as they can. They will inevitably clash with each other.”
Since Mr. Flurry wrote that article, Germany has sent close to 1,000 soldiers to Mali in one of its most significant postwar military deployments. France has also deployed troops to Mali, and it has an even larger deployment in the Central African Republic.
Why? Europe depends on Africa for many resources, especially oil. As the migrant crisis shows, events in this region have a very direct effect on Europe.
But these events are also part of a wider clash. Radical Islam is rising and confronting Europe. Africa is just one of the theaters where Europe is beginning to fight back.
The Bible describes the exact clash that we are now seeing play out in world news. It also describes its ultimate outcome in Daniel 11:40. This is how Mr. Flurry was able to forecast the increasing importance of North Africa four years ago. In his article, Mr. Flurry wrote:
Who is ultimately behind all these terrorist attacks? The king of the south—Iran. But it is being opposed now by Germany on many fronts. You are going to see these two powers clash very soon—like a year or two or three. The Daniel 11:40 clash between the king of the south and the king of the north is about to be fulfilled! All of this violence in Africa is just a prelude to the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Monitor these events closely and see if what we’re telling you doesn’t come to pass. So many prophecies already have. Never in mankind’s history has so much prophecy been fulfilled so rapidly! Events are racing along. This is not the world you knew 10 or even five years ago. It’s very different.
Few want to pay attention to Bible prophecy. But world events are making it difficult to deny that those statements have been prophetic. With the G5 Sahel, Germany is continuing to deepen its military presence in North Africa. For more on this building clash with Iran, read Mr. Flurry’s article “Watch Algeria! ” and his booklet The King of the South. ▪