Minister who laughs in Niger: Baerbock dragging melons even inspires the CDU

Minister who laughs in Niger
Baerbock dragging melons even inspires the CDU

In West African Niger, people are suffering from terror, climate change and food shortages. Foreign Minister Baerbock promises German support during a visit – and with her warm appearance she won the hearts of more than the people of Niger.

It was supposed to be about terrorism, refugee movements, climate change and the food crisis, but instead there was a lot of laughter: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock not only won the hearts of the Nigerien population during his visit to Niger, but also made a strong impression on the Berlin political bubble – at least that’s what many statements by German politicians on Twitter sound like.

“We can be very grateful that this woman is currently representing Germany abroad. What a beautiful face, in many ways! Thank you,” comments the Berlin SPD politician. Sawsan Chebli Photos from Baerbock’s visit to the Nigerian town of Ouallam. The green politician had attended a school there and informed the local population about climate change and agricultural projects.

However, an attempt by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to recreate the living conditions of the population at temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius has attracted the most attention. “Two buckets of melons, a wooden stick, scorching heat: Foreign Minister Baerbock is shown the burdens that women have to carry here in an agricultural project in Ouallam in Niger,” journalist Jörg Blank commented on the event, which caused a lot of laughs.

And for respect, even from the opposition. “It must be admitted without envy that Annalena Baerbock is currently creating a new style in the Federal Foreign Office”, commented Tilman Kuban, president of the Junge Union, the foreign minister’s hesitant attempts to walk on Twitter. “Very well!”

Meanwhile, journalist Stephan Detjen noticed a change in the ministry’s public image. “(Self-) staging of German foreign policy 2019/2022”, summarizes Detjen together what can be seen on a collage: Baerbock laughs and jokes with the population, his predecessor Heiko Maas studies documents and papers in private. In another tweet, he wrote: “Annalena Baerbock practices porterage in Quallam, Niger. Refugees from Mali and farmers from Niger plant lettuce, tomatoes and melons together here.

All crises in one place

The security situation in Mali, a neighboring country of Niger, is considered critical. The Federal Foreign Office warns of terrorist attacks throughout the country. Last year, officer Assimi Goïta took power. Germany is participating in a peacekeeping and training mission with a total of 1,100 troops.

“Terrorism, climate and food crises – these are all global crises, which cluster here in dramatic fashion,” Baerbock previously explained in the official part of his trip, after meeting his Nigerian colleague Hassoumi Massoudou in the capital. Niamey. Concretely, the climate crisis means “suffering, hunger and displacement” in the Sahel region.

38 million people are expected to go hungry in West Africa in the coming months – three times as many as three years ago, Baerbock said. “We see what’s coming for you and therefore what’s coming for us as a world.” The Minister assured: “We will not leave you alone with this.

The federal government recently earmarked an additional €50 million for humanitarian aid to the Sahel region and an additional €50 million for development cooperation. Neither the climate, nor the food crisis, nor terror have stopped at the borders. It is all the more important not only to consider individual countries, but to consider the whole region.

“Master the Hurricane”

During the visit to the refugee project in Ouallam, Baerbock also called for an international fight against the looming hunger crisis in Africa. As food prices soar following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the growing impact of climate change in Africa, she said: “We have a responsibility to manage in a somehow this hurricane of crises here on the ground.

Due to climate change, Niger also regularly experiences heavy rains of unprecedented magnitude and increasingly frequent droughts. Scientific predictions of climate change predict a rise in temperature of up to five degrees for the country by the end of the century as well as longer and longer periods of heat. The former French colony is one of the poorest countries in the world. The country of 23 million people ranks last out of 189 countries on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Index.

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