Germany has suspended “until further notice” most of its military operations in Mali as part of the UN mission (MINUSMA), denouncing a new refusal of overflight by the Malian authorities, the German Ministry of Defense announced Friday.
“The Malian government has once again refused to authorize a flight scheduled for today,” which was to provide a rotation of personnel, said a spokesman for the ministry.
As a result, “we are suspending our reconnaissance operations and helicopter transport flights until further notice” because “it is no longer possible to support the MINUSMA operationally,” he said.
Without the new personnel who were to partly “replace the French forces” which are withdrawing, “security on the ground is no longer assured” and “the remaining forces must be dedicated to security” and will no longer be able to carry out their usual missions, the spokesman explained at a press conference.
The refusal of the overflight came despite assurances to the contrary from Mali’s defense minister, Sadio Camara, during a telephone conversation Thursday with his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht, he said.
Relations between Mali and the UN, whose peacekeepers have been in the country since 2013, have deteriorated in recent weeks.