Germany wants to withdraw the Bundeswehr from Mali next year



At the end of May this year, the Bundestag voted in favor of the extension, but for the first time included a withdrawal clause in the mandate in case the safety of Bundeswehr soldiers in Mali could no longer be guaranteed. − Icon image: dpa

In internal consultations, the federal government agreed to end the Bundeswehr mission in the West African crisis state of Mali next year.

“By the end of 2023 at the latest, German soldiers should stop participating in the UN peacekeeping mission Minusma,” AFP learned from government circles in Berlin on Wednesday. In this sense, the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Defense and the Foreign Ministry reached a basic agreement in confidential conversations.

A final decision on the continuation of the German mission in Mali will be taken next Tuesday at a high-level meeting attended by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) and Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) was further said. to the AFP.

With up to 1400 soldiers involved

The Bundestag’s mandate for the deployment to Mali is currently valid until the end of May 2023. At the end of May this year, the Bundestag voted to extend it, but for the first time included a withdrawal clause in the mandate in case the The safety of Bundeswehr soldiers in Mali can no longer be guaranteed.

At a UN peacekeeping ministerial meeting in Seoul a good year ago, Germany promised to provide a helicopter unit for casualty transport and care as part of the MINUSMA mission until 2024.

The UN mission serves to protect the civilian population in Mali. It is considered to be the most dangerous mission of the Bundeswehr abroad at the moment. The Bundeswehr is currently participating with up to 1,400 soldiers in the UN peacekeeping mission Minusma, which has been stationed in Mali since 2013.

Several states have already withdrawn

At the end of June, the UN Security Council extended the mission’s mandate, initially for another year. A total of more than 17,550 soldiers, police, civilian employees and volunteers are deployed for MINUSMA. Chad, Bangladesh and Egypt provide the largest military contingents.

However, several states have already withdrawn from the UN mission. On Monday, Britain announced the withdrawal of its Minusma troops. France, as one of the most important participants, has already finished its mission.

A military government with close ties to Russia has been in power in Mali since last year. The work of the UN troops is proving difficult under the ruling military junta in Bamako. − afp

Regina Anderson

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