Should the Bundeswehr withdraw from Mali, according to them, a possible evacuation of the local forces – similar to the case in Afghanistan – has not yet been settled. Any evacuation requires “a political decision. And that hasn’t been made yet,” said a spokesman for the Bundeswehr operations command to the editorial network Germany (RND, Monday edition). According to him, the Bundeswehr currently employs 59 local staff in the West African country.
Politically, the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior would be responsible for emergency rescue, administratively the Federal Office for Personnel Management and the Federal Office for Infrastructure, Environmental Protection and Services, both of which are affiliated with the Bundeswehr.
The evacuation of local forces from Afghanistan was sometimes chaotic a year ago due to a lack of preparation and the surprise takeover of power by the Taliban and has not yet been completed. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Eva Högl, recently warned that in Mali “the lessons learned from the Afghanistan mission should be taken into account”.
The Bundeswehr is involved in the UN mission Minusma in Mali. Because of new obstacles to the German troop exchange by the local military junta, Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) suspended reconnaissance flights by German soldiers in the crisis country until further notice.