With about 1,000 troops deployed, Germany is the largest Western contributor to the UN mission, MINUSMA, to help stabilize the country.
The German government approved this Wednesday the withdrawal of its forces participating in the United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali by May 2024 due to tensions with the ruling military council there. During a cabinet meeting, the government of Olaf Scholz confirmed in a statement that German soldiers would gradually leave Mali in the next 12 months. The decision to withdraw from Mali was announced by Berlin at the end of 2022.
Berlin considers that the conditions are no longer available to continue participating in the mission to which Germany has contributed since 2013.
Mali, which witnessed two military coups in 2022, has been living in a spiral of jihadist violence since 2015, which appeared in the country and Niger years ago and expanded beyond their borders.
The generals, who seized power in Bamako, severed the alliance with France and its European partners in the fight against jihadists, and decided to open up to Russia militarily and politically.
With about 1,000 troops deployed, Germany is the largest Western contributor to the UN mission, MINUSMA, to help stabilize the country. “Whether we like it or not, what is happening in the Sahel affects us,” German Foreign Minister Analina Baerbock said in a statement on Wednesday.
Therefore, Berlin intends to remain in the Sahel region and reorient its commitment in the areas of security in Niger, Mauritania and the Gulf of Guinea states, as the foreign minister added.
In order to maintain pressure on the jihadist groups active in the Sahel region, many countries want to strengthen cooperation, especially with Niger, which is considered a more reliable partner than Mali.
In April, the German government decided to send 60 soldiers to the country to take part in a new mission led by the European Union.
The violence in Mali seven years ago left more than ten thousand civilians and soldiers dead, according to non-governmental organizations, and caused the displacement of two million people.
and mission aThe United Nations, with about 12,000 soldiers deployed in Mali, is the UN mission that has suffered the highest losses in the world in the past years. Since its establishment in 2013, 185 of its members have been killed in hostilities.