Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (21 April) regarding a meeting of the German cabinet to examine an extension of the current Bundeswehr mandates for the European Union training mission EUTM Mali and the UN stabilisation mission MINUSMA:
Protecting people, strengthening states, and in this way opening up prospects for the local population – those are the objectives of our engagement in the Sahel. Development can only take root in a secure environment, and that is why the Bundeswehr’s continued engagement is needed. By the same token, long-term security requires the support of the people. This will only come about when local populations have confidence in their respective states – if they can rely on the judiciary and the police, and if they are provided with water, electricity and education. That is the only way for us to stamp out terrorism.
This is precisely why stabilisation has become a core element of our foreign policy. The aim is to find viable political solutions to armed conflicts. Specifically, this means that we approach these countries, offering to mediate and helping to form and maintain coalitions of those who desire peace. We have once again expanded our toolbox for this purpose.