Use of the Bundeswehr: “Entry into the exit” from Mali

Status: 11/22/2022 5:38 p.m

The Bundeswehr should initially remain in Mali – but also make preparations for a withdrawal by 2024. The federal government has followed suit ARD-Information agreed. The corresponding mandate is to follow.

The federal government wants to continue the deployment of German soldiers in West African Mali for the time being, but will start withdrawing them in the summer of 2023. This information is the ARD Capital Studio in Berlin after a top-level meeting of the Chancellery and ministries. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) attended the meeting.

“The Malian government cooperates only a little”, Martin Schmidt, ARD Berlin, on the planned withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Mali

Tagesschau 5:00 p.m., 22.11.2022

Withdrawal by May 2024

A new mandate should therefore include the deployment of the troops until 2024 – but also that “entry to exit” should begin next year. The withdrawal from Mali could follow by May 2024 ARD-Information to be completed. This is also in line with previous estimates by military planners that a full withdrawal would take about a year.

The news agencies dpa and Reuters and the “Spiegel” initially reported on the government’s agreement.

step had become apparent

The current Bundestag mandate for the deployment in Mali is valid until the end of May 2023. At the end of May this year, the Bundestag voted to extend it – but for the first time included a withdrawal clause in the mandate in the event that the safety of Bundeswehr soldiers in Mali can no longer be guaranteed is.

The withdrawal of the currently almost 1,200 Bundeswehr soldiers from Mali became apparent after France ended its deployment and other nations such as Great Britain had at least announced a troop withdrawal.

Compromise between Baerbock and Lambrecht

With the compromise that has now been found, a difference of opinion between Foreign Minister Baerbock, who wanted a continuation, and the more critical Defense Minister Lambrecht seemed to have been defused. Recently there had been repeated disputes between the military rulers in Mali and the UN mission MINUSMA, for which Germany provides soldiers. The Federal Foreign Office is more likely to be in favor of further military engagement, also with reference to Mali’s importance for the stability of the region.

Mali, with a population of around 20 million, has experienced three military coups since 2012. Since the most recent coup in May 2021, the country has been led by an interim military government.

What is the Bundeswehr doing in Mali?

The Bundeswehr has been deployed in Mali since 2013. Around 1,200 Bundeswehr soldiers are currently involved in the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA. The aim of the mission: to stabilize the country and, above all, to protect the population from Islamist militias. The situation has worsened over the course of the mission. Mali is currently considered the most dangerous deployment of the Bundeswehr.

Within the MINUSMA mission, the Bundeswehr soldiers are responsible for military reconnaissance with unmanned and unarmed drones and reconnaissance vehicles.

Recently, the operational capability of the Bundeswehr has been repeatedly restricted by the Malian government. Since mid-October, for example, the use of Bundeswehr transport aircraft and reconnaissance drones has no longer been possible. The Malian military junta has also worked more closely with the Russian mercenary group Wagner.

With information from Uli Hauck, ARD Capital Studio Berlin

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