German foreign minister makes decision after delivery of Russian material to Malian forces

Mali: German troops leave the Sahel

The German armed forces have announced that they will withdraw from Mali and from their participation in international defence missions in the country. This was announced today by the German Ministry of Defence, which cites a situation of growing insecurity due to the entry of Russia and its mercenaries into the country, with the connivance of the Malian transitional government. 

The activities of German soldiers in Mali "are temporarily suspended", according to the statement issued by the Social Democrat Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht. The minister also assured that a small detachment will remain in the country to secure German logistics in the region. 

The decision follows growing insecurity in the African country, where ten civilians were killed by unidentified gunmen on Monday. Some local analyses point to operators of the private Russian military company Wagner, which is close to the Moscow government. 

The decision comes just days after the arrival of new Russian military equipment for the Malian armed forces was made public. Attack helicopters and aircraft were delivered by Russia earlier the same week. 

The government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz was already observing developments in the African country with concern.

In February, Germany's foreign minister, the Green Annalena Baerbock, questioned the continuation of operations following the decisions of her military junta and the postponement of the general elections.

The German army, the Bundeswehr, maintained a contingent of almost 1,500 soldiers in Mali at the time, most of whom are assigned to the UN mission against jihadist terrorism.

That mission's mandate expired in May, after which some 140 German soldiers remained stationed in the country and were expected to be relieved in September.

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