The German military on Tuesday resumed its reconnaissance mission in Mali after over a three-week suspension following a disagreement with Mali’s government concerning flight clearances.
Presently, Berlin has deployed about 1,000 troops to Mali, most of them near the northern town of Gao where their main task is to gather reconnaissance for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
This development was disclosed by the German Military on Twitter that the Mid-August suspension has been lifted and that troops have resumed their patrol beyond Gao.
But the long-term future of German participation is in doubt after the latest dispute with the ruling junta in Bamako and reports of Russian forces arriving in Gao, adding to Berlin’s unease over the increasing Russian military presence in Mali.
Also, Europe’s relations with Mali have deteriorated since a military coup in 2020 and since the government invited fighters from the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-linked private military company, to support its fight against insurgents.
It would be recalled that it was the situation that prompted France to withdraw its troops earlier this year after almost a decade in the country.
However, on Monday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned Berlin may have to withdraw its troops if authorities in the West African country do not provide for the troops’ security needs.