Germany's MINUSMA contingents stationed in Gao will be taking delivery of several heavy-lift transport helicopters, thereby reducing their reliance on private contractors and affording Berlin more flexibility to follow its own path in this troubled region.
Faced with an increasing number of militia groups, Ivory Coast has just ordered tethered surveillance balloons for its border with Burkina Faso from French company A-NSE. The Bundeswehr also just ordered balloons from A-NSE to protect its new military base in Tillia, Niger.
At the beginning of May, military equipment broker Aboubacar Hima, known as "Petit Boubé", took the helm of a new Niamey-registered company called Privinvest. It's his way of getting back on his feet after having had a run-in with the Nigerien courts.
Germany is stepping up its contribution to the fight against violent extremism in the Sahel by equipping the Malian army with some 30 Puma M36 armoured vehicles acquired from South Africa's OTT Technologies. This €15m endowment is part of a plan to strengthen the armed forces put in place by the National Transitional Council.