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  12 Aug 2022, 16:55
Update : 12 Aug 2022, 17:52

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 
flights".

"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 
out.

The withdrawal is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

 


 

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