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German Defence Minister ‘Very Sceptical’ About Mali Mission

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German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Sunday she was “very sceptical” that the country could maintain its troops in Mali amid growing tension between the West African country and its international partners.

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Germany has some 1,200 troops deployed in Mali as part of a 9-year-old international counter-terrorism and peacekeeping mission in the Sahel state.

But tensions have escalated between Bamako and its partners after the junta government failed to organize an election following two military coups, and the arrival of private military contractors of the Russian Wagner Group.

“I do not have the impression that we are welcome any longer,” Lambrecht said in an interview with ZDF broadcaster.

European nations have reported restrictions on their counter-terrorism operations by the junta which in January also insisted on the immediate withdrawal of Danish forces.

Lambrecht said trickier relations between France and its former colony were also making the work harder for Germany.

Mali last Monday gave the French ambassador 72 hours to leave the country after what it called “hostile and outrageous” comments by former colonial power France about its transitional government.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock last week also called into question the country’s military mission in Mali.

Reuters