Germany has said it will stick to its timetable to withdraw its troops from Mali starting this year and ending in 2024.
The West African nation has been fighting a jihadist insurgency for more than 10 years now.
Over 1,000 German troops have been deployed in Mali near the northern town of Gao, supporting the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA there.
The German government last year announced that pulling back troops from Mali will start in the summer 2023, a timetable the German finance minister, Christian Lindner said will not change.
“We will stick to the timetable. We wait for the Election in in Mali and after the election, Bundeswehr will leave….we have a timetable; we have plans, and we stick to them,” Lindner told DW during his visit to Ghana on Friday.
Lindner who was visiting Ghana after a similar visit to Gao in Mali said “Germany is a reliable partner for all African societies. We have an interest in stability in West Africa. If West Africa is stable the European Union stays secure.”
According to hime, Germany will be pushing for economic prosperity in the West African sub-region which can impact the state of security there.
“So, we want to foster the ties to the West African societies. Which doesn’t mean that we will focus on military support, but to strengthen these societies by their economic basis. If there’s an economic basis, this has a positive effect on security matters. So, we need a holistic and holistic approach to stabilizing West Africa,” he added.
Mali is already engaging the support of mercenaries from the controversial Wagner Group from Russia to help it fight jihadists threats. The West has condemned the move.
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