EU suspends Mali training mission

European Union has suspended its training missions in Mali after the coup d’état this month that removed unpopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from power, EU officials said on August 26.

The two missions training Mali’s army and police as part of international efforts to stabilise Mali and extend the state’s authority are frozen because they were designed to support “the legitimate national authorities,” one EU official said.

Officials added the suspension was temporary.

West African (ECOWAS) neighbours holding talks with the officers in command are discussing the possibility of a transitional civil government, which could allow the EU to eventually resume training in partnership with the United Nations. Initially, ECOWAS was insisting on re-instated the ousted President Keita, in spite of the months of protests of Malians demanding his resignation. According to experts the endemic corruption has been the most typical feature of his mandate, considered by Malians as «wasted time», when 40% of state funds vanished.

EU defence ministers meeting in Berlin on August 26 will discuss the situation in Mali, the officials said.

Established in late 2012 to assist Mali’s army regain control of the country after France drove out Islamists in the north, the EU military mission (EUTM Mali) has more than 600 soldiers from 28 European countries including EU and non-member states.

Its headquarters in Mali’s capital Bamako was targeted by insurgents in 2016, although no personnel were hurt.

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