Germany would not rule out transferring its military mission in Mali to another country if the danger is too great, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said Sunday.
“The safety of our soldiers is my first priority,” Lambrecht told German weekly Bild am Sonntag, referring to the Bundeswehr’s mission to train Malian forces.
“We now have to check whether it is possible to train Malian soldiers just as well, or even better, in another location that is safer for our soldiers,” said the Social Democrat minister, who took office earlier this month as part of Olaf Scholz‘s new government.
Lambrecht had already stated her intention to review all foreign missions being undertaken by the Germany army.
The minister said she wanted to see parliamentary mandates for military missions “debated more in parliament and the objective of missions constantly re-examined.”
Members of the Bundestag (lower house) “send soldiers on the mission and therefore carry responsibility for them,” she said.
Germany has around 1,500 soldiers in Mali as part of the United Nations’ Minusma peacekeeping mission and the EU’s mission to train Malian soldiers.