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Violence in Mali has increased despite an international military operation. Greman Defence Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer visits the German Armed Forces at their most dangerous location. She pleads for a strong commitment.

At the Armed Forces Training Centre in the town Koulikoro

The German Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wants an extension of the deployment of German soldiers in the West African crisis state of Mali.

“I think this makes a lot of sense and I also want to promote it,” said the CDU politician on Monday in Koulikoro, where the German Armed Forces and other European states maintain a training centre for the Malian armed forces.

If international forces were to be withdrawn, the security of Mali and the entire region would be at risk. In response to the question of increasing the upper limit of the mandate, she said, this is yet to be discussed as to increase bilateral cooperation.

The security situation in Mali has deteriorated overall

The Minister said on the second day of her trip to West Africa. “We have strong terrorist forces here, which mix with ethnic conflicts, which also mix with the classic conflict between agriculture and livestock farming”. The terrorists are working together in a very professional way in Mali and the whole region. Mali is also the region’s major hub for migration, organized crime and terrorism.

Germany is currently participating in the UN mission Minusma in Mali with 950 soldiers. An EU training mission (EUTM Mali) for Malian security forces and the regional G5-Sahel task force (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad) has also been running since 2013.

The German Armed Forces is involved in the EU mission with some 150 soldiers. The mandates of the House of Representatives run until 31 May 2020. For Minusma an upper limit of 1100 soldiers are applied, for EUTM-Mali a maximum of 350 soldiers may be deployed.

Francis Tawiah (Duisburg – Germany)

Francis Tawiah
Francis Tawiah, © 2019This author has authored 624 publications on Modern Ghana.Author column: FrancisTawiah

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