Germany suspends part of Mali military mission over flight spat
Germany suspended its military reconnaissance mission in Mali after local authorities again withheld a flight clearance, a spokesperson for the defence ministry in Berlin said on Friday, News.az reports citing Reuters.
Berlin has deployed some 1,000 troops to Mali, most of them near the northern town of Gao where their main task is to gather reconnaissance for the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSMA.
MINUSMA - the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali - was established in 2013 to support foreign and local troops battling Islamist militants, but in recent months there have been repeated instances of tensions between the Malian authorities and the mission.
"We will, at least for the time being, suspend the reconnaissance part of mission," the spokesperson said, adding that Malian authorities had not issued the clearance for a flight to rotate some staff.
At the start of August, Mali had already withdrawn clearances for German flights over the country, but later reversed that decision.
The junta that seized power in Bamako in 2020 also temporarily suspended MINUSMA troop rotations in July, days after the arrest of 49 soldiers from Ivory Coast who authorities said had arrived in the country without permission.