Germany rejects debate over evacuation for local recruits in Mali

15 Aug 2022, 23:13

  DF News Desk

Bundeswehr soldiers from the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) await German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on a visit to the African country. File Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa.

The German Defence Ministry, which has suspended its military operations in Mali, said on Monday that it employs 59 local recruits in the West African country to support its forces, reported dpa.

The Defence Ministry in Berlin refused however to discuss any plans for an evacuation of those forces if necessary, arguing that the situation was very different from the situation in Afghanistan prior to the Taliban takeover a year ago.

"We are not assuming at the moment that there is an overriding threat, a general threat," a spokesperson said in response to a report by the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland group.

The report had quoted a spokesperson for the Operations Command as saying that no political decision had been made on a withdrawal.

Germany has been participating in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a peacekeeping force established to boost security after the Tuareg Rebellion of 2012, an early stage of the ongoing armed conflict in the country.

Just over 1,000 Bundeswehr soldiers are currently deployed for MINUSMA.

Germany announced last week that it was suspending its military operations after the Malian government repeatedly denied the Bundeswehr overflight rights, which it needs to facilitate troop rotation.