Germany to pull troops from UN Mali mission by May
German government's spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit announces that Germany is planning to start pulling back troops from Mali in summer 2023 and complete the withdrawal a year later.
Germany will pull its troops from Mali by May 2024, government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said Tuesday, becoming the latest country to declare its pullout from the country.
The government will propose to parliament that Germany's commitment to the MINUSMA operation be extended "in May 2023 for the last time by a year, in order to bring this mission to a structured end after 10 years," Hebestreit said in a statement, adding that the decision had taken into account Mali's planned elections in February 2024.
"By the end of 2023 at the latest, German soldiers are to end their involvement in the UN blue helmet mission MINUSMA," a government source told AFP days ago.
Earlier, the United Kingdom and the Ivory Coast said they will be withdrawing from the mission, with London arguing that Mali's rulers were "not willing to work with us to deliver lasting stability and security".
Germany's military personnel, amounting up to 1,400 soldiers, have been in Mali since 2013, under the pretext of the MINUSMA mission. After France's withdrawal from Mali, part of the reason why German troops are still in Mali is to compensate for the withdrawal.
Paris has been in Mali for almost 10 years under the pretext of "fighting jihadist groups."
In September, Berlin announced the suspension of its reconnaissance patrols in eastern Mali after failing to attain flyover rights. The permission is needed for flights between Gao, home to the German military's main base in Mali, and Niamey, the capital of neighboring Niger.
Malians have repeatedly taken to the streets of the capital, Bamako, in demonstrations in support of the Malian Armed Forces. The demonstrators also voiced dissatisfaction with France's actions in the country, a former colony, especially after Malian troops reportedly found bodies buried near the base in the town of Gossi, which had been under the control of French forces until they handed it over to Mali.