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Donors conference pledges to assist Mali

At the donors conference held in Addis Ababa on 29 January, the international community provided more than 450 million US dollars for Mali. Part of the funds are earmarked for AFISMA, the African-led support mission in the country. Germany pledged to provide a comprehensive assistance package which includes a contribution of 20 million US dollars to the UN’s trust fund for AFISMA and the Malian armed forces.

Speaking in Berlin on 29 January, Foreign Minister Westerwelle said, “Germany recognizes its responsibility. To support the work of liberating Mali, we will be providing financial, logistical and humanitarian assistance as well as equipment and expertise to train Mali’s army.”

He also underlined the key importance of a political solution: “While the military operation is right and proper, we do need to stay determined in seeking to launch a serious negotiation process as well.”

Responding to repeated calls from the international community, the Malian Government has now drawn up a roadmap for a return to constitutional order.

International assistance at many levels

International support for Mali is currently being mobilized at various different levels. French soldiers have been in Mali since 11 January as part of a combat operation to prevent Islamist rebels advancing from the north.

Mali has been beset by severe crisis since early 2012. Fighting between Government troops and Tuareg rebels broke out in the north of the country in January 2012. The situation was then exacerbated by a coup in March 2012, in which sections of the military overthrew President Touré. Islamist groups managed to gain control of large parts of northern Mali during the coup and the related unrest. They advanced southward at the beginning of 2013, prompting France to respond to the Malian Government’s request for intervention.

The EU Foreign Ministers agreed on 17 January to set up an EU training mission (EUTM Mali). Intended to train members of Mali’s armed forces, the mission is to running by mid-February at the latest. EUTM Mali is not to become involved in combat situations. Foreign Minister Westerwelle said the most important thing was to enable Mali and the African forces to themselves bring about greater stabilization in Mali.

German support

A Bundeswehr Transall aircraft being made ready for take-off to Mali

A Bundeswehr Transall aircraft being made ready for take-off to Mali
© dpa / picture alliance

Bild vergrößern
A Bundeswehr Transall aircraft being made ready for take-off to Mali

A Bundeswehr Transall aircraft being made ready for take-off to Mali

A Bundeswehr Transall aircraft being made ready for take-off to Mali

Germany intends to provide instructors for the EU mission and is also helping to transport ECOWAS troops to Mali. The German Government has made three Transall transport aircraft available for that purpose, which are already being used, and it is examining options of other ways in which to help. Around 50 flak vests, for example, are soon to be sent to Mali.

Furthermore, the African-led support mission AFISMA was deployed on 18 January. ECOWAS intends to raise the size of the force to 7700 soldiers.

However, the African troop providers need financial support as well. A donors conference was therefore held in Addis Ababa on 29 January. The German Government pledged during it to provide Mali and its African partners with a comprehensive assistance package which includes a contribution of 20 million US dollars to the UN’s trust fund for AFISMA and the Malian armed forces.

Speaking in Berlin on 29 January, Foreign Minister Westerwelle said, “Germany recognizes its responsibility. To support the work of liberating Mali, we will be providing financial, logistical and humanitarian assistance as well as equipment and expertise to train Mali’s army.”

Security Council resolutions

The legal basis for this international intervention is provided by decisions taken by the United Nations Security Council. On 20 December 2012, the Council adopted Resolution 2085 (2012) to sanction an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) and authorize ECOWAS to reestablish Mali’s territorial integrity.

The resolution calls on all countries to support these objectives. Resolution 2071 (2012) of 12 October 2012 also sees the Security Council pledge support for the planning of an international military operation as well as calling on regional and international partners to help improve the capabilities of Mali’s army.

Humanitarian aid

Refugees from northern Mali in Bamako

Refugees from northern Mali in Bamako
© dpa / picture alliance

Bild vergrößern
Refugees from northern Mali in Bamako

Refugees from northern Mali in Bamako

Refugees from northern Mali in Bamako

At the same time, Germany is also engaged in humanitarian relief efforts to improve conditions for the people in Mali as well as the many refugees. On 16 January, the German Government pledged an additional one million euros in humanitarian aid. Germany has pledged a total of 13.65 million euros in humanitarian aid for Mali since the end of 2011. This goes to support the activities of organizations including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and German NGOs in Mali.


Last updated 29.01.2013