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.
On August 26-27 the EU Foreign ministers might discuss the situation in Mali at their informal meeting in Berlin in the Gymnich format said the spokesperson for the bloc foreign affaris. The Foreign Ministers of the EU member states will have an opportunity to engage in an informal dialogue in a spirit of trust on current issues in the area of European foreign policy.
«The EU has condemned the coup [d’état] as the other African parities, and our priority now is to come up with the solution that is in line with the wishes of the people of Mali, so dialogue is only way to come out of this crisis in Mali, and the EU is remindig that the Consitutuional order must be established quickly by bringing back power to the civilian representatives as it has been said in the context of the CNSP [National Committe for the Salvation of the People] in order to meet the aspirations of the people of Mali.
«We would like to support the work which has been done by the ECOWAS, and thay are continuing to do so” the spokesperson of the European External Action Service said (pictured).
On Monday, August 24 Mali’s military commanders and ECOWAS regional mediators discussed the roadmap and goals of a transitional leadership rather than the possibility of reinstating the ousted president, the initial proposal that was definitely refused. The meeting reportedly ended without an agreement of the timetalbe of the transiation, and new elections.
Initially, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, had sought to put pressure on the officeers to reinstate the uppopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita — also known as IBK for short, and widely criticised for the endemic corruption in the country, reaching 40% of state funds diverted to private pockets.
However, from the beginning of the talks the diplomats understood that IBK reinstatement is highly unlikely giventhe popularity of the coup d’état leaders among the population, and the support they gave to the officers in their actions against the President and the government. At present the #CNSP is insisiting that the swit organisation of election is not their aim, because it will not introduce the profound democratic change the people of Mali demand. The CNSP are not prepared to commit themselves to a scheduled elections timetalbe and follow it at any cost, although they understand it is the prference of the negihgours and the internaitonal community to have a democratically elected government without delay.