EU pulls out of Mali military mission due to political instability

The European Union (EU) announced on Wednesday the termination of its military training mission in Mali, citing the nation’s “evolving political and security situation.”

This decision comes as Mali, still under military rule following coups in 2020 and 2021, faces postponed elections and ongoing militant attacks.

The mission, known as EUTM Mali, was launched in 2013 to train and advise Malian forces battling extremist groups in the region.

With a peak strength of around 700 troops from 20 European countries, EUTM Mali played a significant role in supporting the Malian Armed Forces and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

The EU’s decision follows a strategic review and consultations with the Malian authorities.

The Malian junta initially promised a return to civilian rule through elections in February 2024, but have since postponed the vote indefinitely, citing security concerns.

Despite ending the military training mission, the EU emphasizes that “channels for political dialogue and security and technical cooperation remain open.”

This suggests a potential for continued engagement with Mali outside the realm of military training.

Mali, a landlocked nation in Africa’s Sahel, has grappled with instability for over a decade.

The 2012 outbreak of rebellions and Islamist insurgencies in the north plunged the country into crisis, a situation further complicated by recent coups.

The EU’s decision reflects the international community’s frustration with the stalled political process and the worsening security situation in Mali.

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