The German Parliament approves the last annual extension of the deployment of the Army in Mali

May 26. (EUROPE PRESS) –

The German Parliament has approved this Friday and for the last time the expansion of the deployment of its contingent in Mali, which will come to an end on May 31 of next year amid tensions between the Government and the opposition over the duration of a mission in a country hostile to the presence of the European military.

That is why the measure has been approved despite all the votes against by the German opposition, which has thus expressed its dissatisfaction with the long duration of the deployment, which began ten years ago, and after recalling the rejection of the current military junta that governs Mali to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country (MINUSMA) of which the contingent of 1,400 soldiers is a part.

Given the efforts of the conservative opposition to put an end to the deployment at the end of this year, the current government coalition in Germany has opted instead for extending the military presence until May 2024, after the presidential elections scheduled for February in the African country, to also facilitate an orderly withdrawal of personnel.

The conservative parliamentary spokesman for Defense, Florian Hahn, has insisted during the vote that it is not possible to guarantee the security of the troops and expressed serious doubts about the electoral calendar. “We all know that these elections in Mali probably will not take place,” he said in statements collected by DPA.

The parliamentary leader of the Green Party, a coalition partner of the Government, Britta Hasselmann, has responded that a sudden withdrawal from Mali could call “the reliability of Germany into question” and has denounced as totally unjustifiable the attempts to speed up the return of the troops.

To the tense security situation must be added the increase in the cost of German military operations abroad over the last twelve months over the estimate: 813 million euros compared to an initial budget of 700 million, according to documents from the Ministry of Defense collected by ‘Der Spiegel’.

The Bundestag has also decided to extend for another year the deployment of its 70 around 70 troops that are part of the NATO mission in Kosovo, KFOR, as reported by the German public broadcaster ARD.

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