The German government announced its decision to extend the deployment of its troops in the west African country of Mali, which had been operated in cooperation with the European Union (EU) and the UN.

“The threat of terrorism and organized crime not only affects Mali, but threatens to destabilize the whole of West Africa,” the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

It added that Germany’s military involvement in Mali was still necessary to “sustainably support stability and peace in the Sahel region”, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the German government, the operational area of EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) with the main purpose of training Malian armed forces would be expanded to Niger and Burkina Faso, with the number of German soldiers increasing from 450 to up to 600.

The participation of the Bundeswehr, the German Armed Forces, in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) would continue unchanged.

According to the statement, the UN mission focused on “implementing the intra-Mali peace agreement and restoring statehood and political dialogue”.

The extension of the Bundeswehr mandates for both missions for the time until May 2022 still needs formal approval by Parliament.

–IANS

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