After the United Kingdom, Germany announces it wants to withdraw its forces from Mali by the end of 2023

After the United Kingdom, Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt, Germany has announced in recent days that it wants to withdraw its forces involved in Mali. UN Mission (minusma). “German soldiers must end their involvement in the UN peacekeeping force operation MINUSMA by the end of 2023,” a government source said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The decision is subject to an agreement in principle within the German government and an official announcement will come out next Tuesday, according to the same source.

More than 12,000 soldiers and 1,700 UN police officers, including 1,100 Germans, are in Mali as part of MINUSMA’s deployment to the country in 2013, specifically aimed at stabilizing the country’s security situation.

The announcement comes amid tensions between the ruling UN and the military junta in Mali. While the country has been facing since 2012 Continued jihadist attacks And mired in a deep security and political crisis, the ruling Colonel Azimi Koita is getting closer and closer to Russia. His paramilitary group Wagner.

After having pushed out the former French ally In early 2022, the military junta verbally attacked Minusma several times, and its mandate was renewed for a year in June. On this occasion, Mali expressed “resolute opposition” to the freedom of movement of the blue helmets for investigations into human rights abuses.

The “major nations” withdraw

On November 14, Britain has also indicated it wants to leave “Sooner than expected” its team, nearly 300 soldiers, are in the force.

A day later, the Ivorian army announced a gradual withdrawal of its troops by August 2023. Other major countries are in the process of withdrawing (from Mali) and there is no reason for us to stay,” explained Ivorian government spokesman Amadou Coulibaly.

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“We are grateful to Côte d’Ivoire for the services and contributions of all staff in Mali and for its continued support in UN peacekeeping operations,” the organization said. Relations between Abidjan and Bamako have been significantly strained in recent months, especially since then Last July, 49 Ivorian soldiers were arrested in Mali. After three releases, 46 of them are still detained, Bamako accuses them of being mercenaries while Abidjan promises them to participate in the protection of a German group of Blue Helmets in Mali.

For its part, Egypt announced in mid-July that it would suspend the participation of its 1,035 soldiers in MINUSMA. France, the main force intervening militarily in Mali, notably through the troops of the Bargain Force, decided to withdraw its forces in February. After nearly a decade of intervention, the last French soldiers left Mali this summer.

Actors in the region are due to meet in Ghana next week to coordinate a response to instability in the Sahel.

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