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Again, German Parliament Extends Military Deployment To Mali

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The German Parliament has announced an extension of their country’s military deployment in support of the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping in Mali by another one year.

According to a mandate passed by the Bundestag, or parliament in Berlin on Friday, the deployment will end on May 31 next year.

Notably, all the opposition parties however voted against the  year-long extension to the mandate for the up to 1,400 troops deployed to the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Germany has for the past 10 years contributed troops to MINUSMA, which is described as the United Nations’ most dangerous peace-keeping mission.

Mali’s new military government has repeatedly obstructed German operations in the country, in particular by refusing flight clearance for reconnaissance drones.

The conservative opposition parties of the CDU/CSU grouping called for the deployment to be terminated by the end of this year at the latest. The three-way ruling coalition justified the later date by pointing to the Malian presidential elections set for February next year.

Lawmaker Agnieszka Brugger of the Greens said on behalf of the coalition that the withdrawal must be conducted in an orderly way and in coordination with Germany’s international partners.

CDU/CSU defence spokesman Florian Hahn on the other hand, said the troops’ security and provisions could no longer be guaranteed and that there was no longer any question of fulfilling the original mandate.

Hahn also raised concerns over the conduct of the next elections in Mali. “With respect to the Malian elections, all of you know that these elections will probably not be held”, he said.



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