West Africa - SahelBlog AnalysisMissions Operations

The Bundeswehr more engaged in Mali? Not immediately. AKK discards

(B2) For German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a possible extension of the Bundeswehr mission in Mali will be discussed only in the context of the extension of mandates in the spring of the year next. This means that participation in Operation Takuba in France, training and escorting Malian special forces, may not be on the agenda for the moment.

Camp Castor in Gao, which houses German soldiers from MINUSMA (credit: Bundeswehr 2017)

A participation in Takuba not before next April?

During a visit to the 1st Parachute Brigade (LLBrig 1) in Saarlouis on Monday (November 25), the minister answered questions from journalists. As usual, she stressed how the fight against terrorism in the Sahel zone should not be left to French troops alone. However, she refused to get involved any further. A discussion on this subject would, according to her, only make sense in the context of the extension of the mandates of the United Nations mission MINUSMA and the EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali). The Bundestag last extended both terms in May this year. It is therefore unlikely that it will be re-examined before the government's decision in April 2020, according to our colleague Thomas Wiegold.

No detailed request from France

Shortly before, during her visit to the region in October, the minister had already made it clear that Germany and the Bundeswehr were supposed to become more involved in the Sahel zone. But without really any concrete follow-up. But, according to her, France has only expressed in a fairly general way the wish to give a broader basis to the fight against terrorism in the region. Berlin would therefore not have received a specific request from France for more German participation. A rather loose way to discard gently…

(NGV, with T. Wiegold, in Berlin - Augergeradeaus)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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