German Cabinet backs extending troop deployment in Mali

The German Cabinet has backed extending the mandates for troop deployments to Mali under UN and European Union auspices.

The Cabinet gave the green light on Wednesday for German troops to continue to participate in the EU’s European Union Training Mission (EUTM) programme and in the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission inMali (MINUSMA) peacekeeping mission. Parliament has yet to approve the decision.

Germany aims to increase its deployment to EUTM, raising the upper limit to 600, from 450 currently, from June 1 onwards.

Germany is set to take over leadership of the deployment from the beginning of July. A military training facility in central Mali is to be opened in the second half of the year.

German participation in MINUSMA is to remain at a maximum of 1,100 troops.

Islamist terrorist groups have been active in the West African country for years. In 2013, France, the former colonial power, repulsed an attack on the capital Bamako. In August last year, the country’s military seized power in a coup.

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