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Germany’s engagement in Mali

07.01.2016 - Article

On 6 January 2016, the Cabinet took the decision to increase German engagement in the UN peace mission MINUSMA to up to 650 soldiers.

German engagement in the UN peace mission MINUSMA is to be increased considerably to up to 650 military personnel. This is the Cabinet decision of 6 January 2016, which will now be submitted to the Bundestag for voting. Germany also continues its involvement in the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) and EUCAP Sahel Mali.

Germany is engaged at several levels in efforts to stabilise Mali. The UN peace mission aims to restore and maintain government order after the unrest in 2012/2013. The European Training Mission EUTM serves to strengthen the Malian armed forces in the long term, while EUCAP Sahel Mali aims to professionalise the civilian security forces in Mali. Germany has also long been active in the sphere of development cooperation and is currently focusing on the national reconciliation process.

MINUSMA engagement to stabilise Mali since 2013

The UN peace mission MINUSMA is based on Resolution 2100 of the UN Security Council from 2013. Germany was involved from the outset - both financially and with personnel on the ground. Providing just over 7% of the funding, Germany is the fourth-largest contributor. Presuming that the German Bundestag confirms the Cabinet decision, the number of personnel can increase to up to 650. The primary task of the German soldiers is to shed light on the activities of Islamist terrorist groups and on other factors hindering the implementation of the peace agreement. MINUSMA also includes a civilian component in which currently up to 20 German police officers are involved. A total of 48 other nations are working with Germany in MINUSMA.

German soldiers providing training for soldiers in Mali
German soldiers providing training for soldiers in Mali© picture alliance / dpa

German heads EUTM Training Mission

As part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), the European Union is also running the Training Mission EUTM. The aim of the EU mission is to support the Malian armed forces and Defence Ministry through training and guidance, thus enabling them to provide security and stability in the country without external assistance. Germany provides a contingent of up to 350 personnel for EUTM and German Brigadier General Franz Pfrengle is currently serving as Mission Commander. The mission focuses for example on training army engineers, reconnaissance, logistics, unexploded ordnance diposal and medical support.

Unloading a German Transall plane in Bamako
Unloading a German Transall plane in Bamako© dpa/Bundeswehr

EUCAP Sahel Mali strengthens civilian security forces

Since April 2014, military training assistance as part of the CSDP has been flanked by the civilian training mission EUCAP Sahel Mali. This mission focuses on providing training and advice for police forces, Garde National and Gendarmerie. The aim is not just to make civilian security services more effective but also to provide training on the rule of law and the respect of human rights. This helps build confidence between state security forces and the people and thus helps stabilise governance. Alongside civilian experts, Germany is also currently providing the Head of the Mission, Ambassador Albrecht Conze.

Development cooperation and humanitarian assistance

In addition to these missions, Germany is engaged in humanitarian assistance and development cooperation to improve conditions for people in Mali and the many refugees in the long term. For the period 2016‑19, projects to the tune of over 70 million euros are planned. The work focuses on strengthening civil society and promoting the national reconciliation process, as well as on decentralisation, agriculture and water supplies. Furthermore, Germany provided more than 5 million euros for humanitarian assistance in 2015 used particularly to provide food for refugees.

Further information

German participation in UN peace missions

Mali country profile

MINUSMA official website

EUTM Mali official website

More information on EUCAP Sahel Mali

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