Band Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in the Sahel state of Mali on Tuesday night for a two-day visit. In talks with the military government, representatives of civil society and the Bundeswehr, Baerbock wants to get an idea of ​​the current situation, which is characterized by increasing extremist violence and great poverty. The results of the talks are to be incorporated into the Federal Government’s forthcoming decision as to whether – and in what form – the Bundeswehr should remain in Mali.

At the start of the trip, Baerbock made clear her dissatisfaction with the military junta in Bamako. Germany can only continue its commitment if the “framework conditions” are right – and in this respect the government “has lost a lot of trust internationally in recent months – not least by delaying the democratic transition and by intensifying military cooperation with Moscow,” said Baerbock .

The Federal Foreign Minister listed a number of requirements for Mali if the Bundeswehr is to remain in place: She named “reliability in cooperation as well as a determined fight against terror and violence and compliance with fundamental principles of the rule of law”. Since the behavior of Mali’s government raises questions in this regard, Germany must “question” its commitment.

Deduction or extension of the mandate?

The Bundeswehr is currently involved with around 1,300 soldiers in two international military operations in Mali – the missions are currently the largest and most dangerous operation of the German armed forces.

As part of the EU-led training mission EUTM, around 300 German soldiers are training members of the Malian army. Shortly before Baerbock’s departure, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced that the military training mission would be drastically reduced.

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