Germany, Britain announce withdrawal from Mali earlier than planned – The North Africa Post

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The German government said Tuesday (22 November) that it plans to wind down the country’s participation in a United Nations military mission in Mali by the middle of 2024, following a recent announcement by the British government of the early withdrawal of its military contingent from the West African country.

Tensions have grown between Mali, its African neighbors and the West after Mali’s government allowed mercenaries from the Wagner Group to deploy on its territory. “The Malian soldiers who were so well trained then went out and fought with Russian forces, I don’t know 100% if it was Wagner’s forces every time or not, but they fought with Russian forces and there were also human rights violations,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht explained the reasons behind the government decision. “And that can’t be what we’re about. It’s not just about training, no matter how it turns out, but also about acting on principles. And that is why we have ended the training mission,” she added.

A mandate from parliament is required for German military missions abroad. This mandate is usually granted on an annually basis. The current mandate for Germany’s participation in the UN mission known as MINUSMA allows for the deployment of up to 1,400 troops.

Also, Britain announced last week that it would withdraw its troops from the UN mission in Mali, citing the Mali ruling junta’s decision to use the Russian paramilitary group Wagner. London did not give any timeline for its withdrawal. According to the Ministry of Defense this commitment was supposed to last for three years. However, London decided that due to rising instability in the country, it would anticipate the withdrawal of its troops and should leave the country in six months.

France, the main country to intervene militarily in Mali (notably through the Barkhane forces), announced in February that they would be withdrawing from the country. After almost a decade-long presence, the last French soldiers left Mali in this summer.

Source: north africa post

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