EU Not Renewing Mali Military Training Mission

The European Union decided Wednesday not to renew the mandate of a military training mission in Mali, given the “evolving political and security situation,” the commission said in a statement.

The West African nation has been ruled by juntas since back-to-back coups in 2020 and 2021, with the military promising to hand over power through the ballot box in February.

But they have postponed elections until an unspecified date, citing a precarious security situation aggravated by jihadist attacks.

The 27 member states “have decided by mutual agreement not to extend the mandate of the EUTM (European Union Training Mission) Mali beyond May 18 2024, heeding the strategic review and consultations with the Malian authorities,” the European Commission said in a statement.

“In the 11 years of presence in Mali, EUTM Mali has 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 defence forces,” it added.

The EUTM was deployed to train and advise forces and included up to 700 soldiers from some 20 European countries before significantly reducing its numbers.

“The channels for political dialogue and security and technical cooperation remain open,” Brussels added.

Mali, a poor landlocked country in Africa’s Sahel region, has been plunged into crisis since the outbreak of independence and jihadist insurgencies in the north in 2012.

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