Thursday, February 3, 2022

Germany signals course change on Mali mission –

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has raised doubts about Germany’s military engagement in Mali, even though the federal government had recently ruled out a withdrawal of troops.

“Considering the latest steps taken by Mali’s government, we need to honestly ask ourselves whether the conditions for the success of our common engagement continue to be met”, Baerbock told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Wednesday.

The statement comes after Mali’s military junta announced on Monday (31 January) that it had ordered French ambassador Joël Meyer to leave the country. A spokesperson cited “hostile and outrageous words recently said by the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, as the reason for the decision.

The deployment of the Bundeswehr in Mali “is not an end in itself”, Baerbock said, adding that Germany was closely coordinating with France and other international partners on how and if military engagement in the country would be continued.

In reaction to the recent developments, France announced that it would aim to find an agreement with its partners to continue the mission by mid-February. In Germany, the Bundestag will vote on its mandate to continue the mission in May.

Germany, while not being part of Takuba, the international task force led by France, participates in the UN’s Minusma mission.

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