Berlin chooses to gradually withdraw from Mali | Africa | DW

On Tuesday, November 22, the German government held a meeting to suspend a common position on the question of the termination of the deployment of the German army. While opinions were divided on the subject, withdrawal ultimately prevailed.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Foreign Minister Analina Berbock, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and other members of the German government attended the meeting. Evidence that the topic is not only sensitive, but also of great importance for Berlin.

While the list of countries that decide to leave Mali tends to get longer, the question has already been asked in Germany for some time. Should I go or stay? France, for example, responded to this for some time and withdrew its troops. Two weeks ago, the United Kingdom and Côte d’Ivoire also expressed their desire to withdraw from the UN mission.

Convoy of Wehrmacht soldiers in Gao.

Covenant, a mutual promise between two parties

Consequently, Berlin has taken the last step and decided to withdraw its forces by May 2024. The departure will be gradual, and therefore should last approximately eighteen months. German soldiers will start leaving the city of Gao in northern Mali next summer. This withdrawal of the Bundeswehr is worrying about 1,200 soldiers participating in the UN mission, MINUSMA. The soldiers who mainly carry out training operations.

Bundeswehr soldier holding the German flag.

German soldiers are expected to leave Mali by May 2024.

Until now, opinions differed between the German Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs on the issue of withdrawal. The first wanted to return the soldiers to Germany because of the difficulty of their mission there, while the second wanted them to stay in Mali to act as a counterweight to the Russian influence there.

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