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Mali A landlocked West African country in crisis
After two military coups (in August 2020 and May 2021) and since the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions in late 2021, the country has been in a period of political transition under interim president Assimi Goïta.
Together with other international partners and organisations, for example France, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States, the German government has been calling on Mali to restore constitutional order as quickly as possible.
After prolonged disputes with the Economic Community of West African States, in June 2022 the transitional government set out a roadmap for a two-year transitional period, which includes several rounds of elections and a constitutional referendum. The process is to be concluded with presidential elections in March 2024.
The Economic Community of West African States and many western donors have accepted this decision so that numerous cooperation programmes that had been suspended were resumed in summer 2022.
The German military is currently still part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and of the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM), which is being phased out. The German government has proposed to extend its support for MINUSMA by a final year in May 2023 before phasing out its mandate in a structured way after ten years. In total, some 1,100 German troops are currently stationed in Mali.
Fragile security situation
The security situation in Mali is tense. A nationwide state of emergency is still in place. Terrorist attacks are liable to happen anywhere in the country. In the northern and central parts of the country in particular, violent conflict has flared up repeatedly. Moreover, various, conflicting terrorist groups are active in the north-eastern and central parts of Mali and in regions along the borders with Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire.
German development cooperation with Mali
Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. Germany's development cooperation with Mali focuses on the local level and on projects that lead to direct and sustained improvements in people's living conditions.
Germany's activities in Mali currently concentrate on food security and agriculture, drinking water supply, and the establishment of effective local government institutions.
Since the two coups, Germany has been operating its development cooperation programmes without involving the government and in close contact with the target groups – ongoing programmes are not carried out in cooperation with the transitional government working instead with subordinate civil authorities, private companies, local communities and local partners. The BMZ continuously adapts project implementation to the changing security situation.
The last government negotiations with Mali took place in March 2021, that is, before the second coup. At the time, Germany committed 69 million euros for development cooperation for two years. New commitments for the continuation of ongoing projects can be made in 2023, depending on the political situation and on a smaller scale.
In order to be able to provide continued support to the people of Mali, the BMZ is striving to continue its longstanding cooperation with the country. This will depend to a large degree on the successful adoption of the roadmap for the transition and a return to constitutional order, and the BMZ will coordinate its decision with the other German ministries and with European and international partners.
As at: 11/04/2023