Germany has begun withdrawing their troops from Gao, as the United Nations continues to dismantle its peacekeeping mission in Mali before the end of the year.
Personnel at the Camp Castor base, which supports the activities of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), on Tuesday, began dismantling and transporting their equipment back to Germany.
The move is in accordance with the UN Security Council vote in June to end a decade-old peacekeeping mission to Mali, whose military junta urged the troops’ removal as it aligns with Russia. The junta had earlier in the year aligned itself with Russia and brought in the Wagner Group.
Mali’s relations with the United Nations have deteriorated sharply since a 2020 coup brought to power a military regime which also severed defence cooperation with France, the former colonial power. Under longstanding UN practice, a peacekeeping mission needs the approval of the host country.
There were about twelve MINUSMA bases in Mali, nine of which the UN mission had dismantled at the end of November.
MINUSMA has been deployed in Mali since 2013 to prop up the West African nation’s security as it faces jihadi rebels linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group as well as a Tuareg-led separatist revolt.