Germany Set to Terminate EU Training Mission in Mali

Germany Set to Terminate EU Training Mission in Mali (News Central TV)
German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht attends a news conference on a package of measures against far-right extremism and anti-Semitism in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet signed off Wednesday on the tightening of gun laws, stricter persecution of hate crime online, and more financial support for initiatives fighting anti-Semitism and far-right extremism. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Germany will withdraw from the European Union training operation in Mali, but is willing to continue with a United Nations peacekeeping force under specific conditions, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Wednesday.

The UN’s 14,000-strong peacekeeping operation (MINUSMA) and the European Union’s EUTM and EUCAP missions all face uncertain futures as a result of the leave.

After a cabinet meeting in Meseberg, a city north of Berlin, Lambrecht warned that under the current transitional Malian government, Germany-trained Malian soldiers might fight alongside Russian troops and “conduct horrific abuses of human rights.”

Germany’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht

“We cannot support such a system any longer.

“That’s why we will stop our (participation in the) EUTM training mission,” the defence minister said.

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The announcement comes a month after Human Rights Watch accused Malian military and suspected Russian fighters of killing about 300 civilians in a central Mali village, and more than two months after Russia invaded Ukraine. 

The army of the West African country refuted HRW’s allegations. Mali and Russia earlier stated that the Russians in the nation are trainers assisting local troops with Russian-made weaponry.

Germany was willing to continue its participation in the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission if the U.N. made sure that shortfalls created by the French withdrawal were filled to ensure the safety of German soldiers.

“I expect the U.N. to create conditions for us to continue our involvement in MINUSMA. We are ready to continue the mandate,” Lambrecht said.

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Recall, News Central on Tuesday reported that the Malian Government has announced that it is terminating all defence ties with France, the country’s former colonial ruler.

It cited multiple violations of its sovereignty by French troops in the country, and noted a “profound deterioration of the military co-operation with France for some time now”.

Multiple incidents of the French violating the country’s airspace were mentioned in a statement by military spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga.

France has responded to Mali’s decision to end its the co-operation agreement, describing it as ‘unjustified’. 

The European country stated that it believes this decision is unjustified and that any infringement of the bilateral legal framework will be vigorously opposed.

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