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Germany to extend Mali military mission for last time

Germany announced on Wednesday that it will extend its military mission in Mali for the last time, and will gradually withdraw its troops by May 31, 2024.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s office said in a statement that the last one-year extension would allow the UN to make the necessary adjustments, as it is currently reviewing the future of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

“The United Nations should be supported in the further planning of the mission even without Germany’s participation. The period until the end of May 2024 is suitable for creating the conditions for this,” the statement said.

Berlin said its decision to gradually withdraw troops has also taken into account Mali’s timetable for the political transition process, including presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place on Feb. 4, 2024.

According to the government’s motion, the German armed forces will be able to deploy up to 1,400 soldiers in Mali, as part of the MINUSMA mission, until May 31, 2024.

But the Bundeswehr will begin withdrawing some of the military equipment already this month, and it will adjust its contribution to MINUSMA in coordination with the UN, and partner countries.

The government’s motion is almost certain to be passed by the German parliament, where Scholz’s ruling coalition has majority support.

The German armed forces suffered serious problems in Mali in the past couple of months due to political tensions between Berlin and Mali’s military rulers.

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