German parliament allows troops to stay in Mali for one last year

BERLIN (AP) — German lawmakers on Friday gave the go-ahead for the country’s troops to stay in Mali for up to a year, part of a plan to end Germany’s participation in a mission UN military in this West African country. .

Parliament approved the new and definitive mandate for the participation of German troops in the UN mission known as MINUSMA by 375 votes to 263, with one abstention. It provides for the deployment of a maximum of 1,400 men until May 31, 2024 at the latest.

The main opposition bloc had called for the withdrawal of troops by the end of this year.

The government announced in November its intention to end German participation in the mission by mid-2024. He said the timing was supposed to take into account elections in Mali which were due in February and ensure a structured withdrawal, points the opposition questioned on Friday.

The move follows repeated tensions between Malian leaders and the international community that have already led other countries to implement withdrawal plans.

Mali has been ruled by a military junta since a 2020 coup against an elected president. Since 2013, it has faced destabilizing attacks from armed extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

German military missions abroad require a mandate from Parliament, which is usually granted on an annual basis.

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