The European Union is not renewing its military training mission in Mali

The European Union (EU) decided, Wednesday May 8, not to renew the mandate of a military training mission in Mali given “the evolution of the political and security situation” in the country. While they had promised to return power to civilians through the ballot boxes in February, the colonels at the head of Mali since a coup d’état in 2020 failed to fulfill their commitments and postponed the presidential election to an indefinite date under the pretext that the country, prey to attacks by jihadist groups, is not stabilized.

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EU Member States “decided by mutual agreement not to extend the mandate of the EUTM mission [European Union Training Mission] beyond May 18, 2024 following the strategic review and consultations carried out with the Malian authorities”indicated the European Commission in a press release: “In eleven years of presence […] EUTM Mali supported, at the request of the authorities, the Malian Armed Forces as well as the G5 Sahel joint force, contributing to the fight against the terrorist threat through the development of Malian security and defense forces. »

The EUTM has been deployed since 2013 to train and advise the forces of this country, which has been facing the spread of jihadism since 2012: it had up to 700 soldiers from around twenty European countries, before significantly reducing its numbers.

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Making national sovereignty its mantra, the junta that took power by force in 2020 broke the anti-jihadist alliance with France and its European partners and turned militarily and politically towards Russia. The junta has secured the assistance of personnel whom it presents as “instructors” Russians. The EU denounces the use of mercenaries from the Russian security group Wagner, actions criticized in different countries.

“The channels for political dialogue and security and technical cooperation remain open, in particular through the EU delegation in Bamako, through the civilian operation “EUCAP Sahel Mali” and through the regional advisory and support unit. EU coordination for the Sahel »assured Brussels on Wednesday.

The World with AFP

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