Berlin, Nov 25 (IANS) Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali for peacekeeping missions, including support in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.
The announcement came less than two weeks after the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and less than one week after gunmen stormed a hotel in Mali’s capital of Bamako, killing 19.
Von der Leyen said the German soldiers would support the French-led peacekeeping mission in Mali, in particular in the areas of logistics and reconnaissance.
The decision, she added, was aimed to help relieve pressure on France, as it is strained in its fight against the IS.
The mandate will be soon submitted to the German parliament for approval.
The attacks in Paris have brought France to the forefront of the global fight against terrorism.
France has thousands of troops in Mali, a former colony, but last week’s hostage crisis in Bamako has stoked fears that the West African country is still unable to prevent terrorist groups from operating within its borders.