Germany suspends military operations in Mali
BERLIN, Aug 12, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - The German defence ministry said Friday it
had suspended most of its operations in Mali after the local military-led
government denied flyover rights to a UN peacekeeping mission.
"The Malian government has once again refused to give flyover rights to a
flight planned today" for the rotation of personnel on the ground, a ministry
spokesman said at a regular press conference.
In response, Germany had decided to "suspend until further notice the
operations of our reconnaissance forces and CH-53 (helicopter) transport
"It is no longer possible to support the MINUSMA reconnaissance missions on
an operational basis," the spokesman said.
Without the new troops, who were set to "replace French forces" in the
process of withdrawing, "security on site is not assured" as the "remaining
forces must be kept ready for security operations".
The flyover rights were refused despite assurances to the contrary from the
Malian Defence Minister Sadio Camara in a call with his German counterpart
Christine Lambrecht Thursday, the spokesman said.
"Camara's actions tell a different story than his words," Lambrecht said in a
statement posted by her ministry on Twitter.
The German move comes as Mali's junta turned away from France and toward
Russia in its fight against jihadism.
The long-running insurgency has claimed thousands of lives and forced
hundreds of thousands from their homes.
The relationship between Bamako and Paris, its former colonial power and
traditional ally, has deteriorated in recent months.
The arrival of Russian paramilitaries in the country on the invitation of the
government was a key factor in France's decision to pull its military forces
The withdrawal is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.