Trump and Merkel had a ten-minute pull-aside meeting in a small room to discuss Libya and “deteriorating conditions” in West Africa following the commemoration of D-Day at Portsmouth.

On Wednesday morning, following the D-Day commemoration at Portsmouth, England, President Trump and Chancellor Merkel had a pull aside meeting for about 10 minutes. “The two leaders discussed the current situation in Libya and the deteriorating conditions in West Africa. They agreed to discuss further at the G20,” revealed Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The next G20  summit will take place from June 28th to 29th in Osaka, Japan. The attendees expected are Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, Russian President Vladimir Putin, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, United States President Donald Trump, the to-be-elected EU President of the European Council, and the to-be-elected EU President of the European Commission.

The Second Libyan Civil War and West Africa Destabilization

The Second Civil War and unrest in Libya comes after The First Libyan Civil War and ousting of Muammar Gaddafi around the period of the Arab Spring. Currently, many state and non-state actors are fighting for control of the Libyan government and Libyan oil reserves.

Countries in the West African region as defined by the UN are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Helena, Ascension, Tristan da Cunha, and Gough (United Kingdom Overseas Territories, Islands), Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. There were a series of civil wars in the region including the Nigerian Civil War, The First and Second Liberian Civil Wars (not to be confused with the Libyan Civil Wars), The Guinea-Bissau Civil War, The First and Second Ivorian Civil Wars, and the Sierra Leone Rebel War, all of which occurred in the 1990s and early 2010s. Only Cape Verde and Senegal never had coups d’etats in their history. There is also an Ebola outbreak in many parts of Western Africa and many human rights abuses are perpetrated by many governments and non-state actors in the region.

However, not every country participates in these abuses and many are increasingly democratic. To call the entire region destabilized is a mischaracterization, one that is partially reliant on the stereotype that Africa is a destabilized continent which stems from years of racism and xenophobia. Much of the destabilization that exists relies much on the complex and rich history of colonization and slavery on primarily the west side of the African continent.

Historically, there is also the risk of outside forces working to help stabilize an African region. Many argue that African problems should be solved by the people who understand and have a better ability to deal with them, mainly the people who live there. Ramaphosa will be the only representative from an African country at the G20 summit.

Margaret Valenti is the Editor of Generation Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today. 

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