Why France doesn’t want to let Aminata Traoré in and Germany allowed her only inside Berlin’s city limits

Malian writer, activist, former member of government Aminata Traoré is unwelcome in France, and, thanks to the ‘open borders’ of the Schengen Area, she is persona non grata in pretty much all of Europe. Another dialogue is possible? Not if you irk les autorités. Traoré was invited to speak at a conference last week, in Berlin. From there she was to go on to France, to participate in public forums in Paris and Lille. She had had a four-year Schengen visa, which allows for ‘free movement’ around the continent …except, of course, when it doesn’t. Much to her surprise, the German Consulate rejected Traoré’s application. Finally, at the last minute, she was given a three-day safe-conduct for Berlin and only Berlin. Since France wouldn’t allow her to transit through, she had to go through Istanbul and Dakar, which extended her return flight to 26 some hours. Continue reading