According to the will of the Federal Government, the German soldiers will withdraw from Mali in the coming year. But development aid should remain. In a DW interview, German Development Minister Svenja Schulze said it was possible to work even under poorer security conditions: “We can continue with our development work because we are embedded in this society. We have been here for years and we can continue to work for food security, for the water supply, for the structures working here. That’s still possible and we will continue to do that.”
The welfare organization Caritas welcomes this announcement. “We take the minister at her word not to let up on her commitment,” said Caritas country officer Philipp Lang. The humanitarian situation in Mali is steadily deteriorating, “both in terms of the food situation of the people and internal displacement, this is not going away.” Mali expert Lang warned that stopping German aid would further aggravate and destabilize the situation.
“The mission did not fail”
The end of the Bundeswehr mission is due to growing tensions with the Malian military government. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the withdrawal should be phased in until May 2024. “I very much regret that the mission is now coming to an end in this way.”
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and German Development Minister Svenja Schulze visit a UN World Food Program warehouse
In Gao, Pistorius admitted that the situation in Mali had not improved, but did not want to declare the Bundeswehr mission a failure. “It wasn’t the mission that failed, it was the conditions that made the mission fail,” said the SPD politician. Now it’s a matter of preparing for the orderly dismantling and dismantling of the camp. Around 1,600 sea containers are needed to bring material and weapons back to Germany, as Bundeswehr logisticians have calculated.
rb/pgr (AFP, dpa, DW, epd)