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Germany hopes for answers on Bundeswehr presence in Mali by September

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Germany hopes for answers on Bundeswehr presence in Mali by September

Germany hopes for answers on Bundeswehr presence in Mali by September
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Berlin, July 23, 2022 German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht hopes to have clarity on the further deployment of the Bundeswehr in Mali by September, saying it is no longer clear if the ruling junta still welcomes their presence.

“The Malian rulers must explain whether they want to continue cooperating with the international community in the fight against terrorism, whether we are welcome.

“I currently have my doubts about this,” Lambrecht told dpa on Saturday ahead of a high-ranking UN representative’s trip to Mali.

It was not acceptable that “harassing practices” made the work of German soldiers more difficult and, in some cases, impossible, she said.

A contingent rotation is planned for September, meaning that most of the soldiers stationed in Mali, as part of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA, will be replaced.

Ties between Berlin and Bamako have been strained since a military coup in Mali last year.

The situation has further deteriorated in recent months, with the junta in Mali declaring that it would not permit any personnel changes to the international forces for the time being.

Last week, eight members of the German Armed Forces were prevented from boarding a civilian flight by Malian authorities in an act Berlin called “harassment.”
The government in Mali, on the other hand, is demanding clarification on the relationship between the German government and 49 soldiers from Ivory Coast arrested in Bamako on July 10.

The soldiers were arrested on accusations of illegally entering the country, destabilising the government in Mali and being mercenaries.

However, according to the German Defence Ministry, the forces have been deployed since 2019, with the knowledge and approval of the authorities in Mali, to guard a UN base at Bamako airport, which is also used by Germany.

On Sunday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix leaves for a five-day trip to Mali to discuss the future of MINUSMA with the local government.

YEE

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NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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