Mali has received 29 Casspir armoured personnel carriers and other equipment donated by Germany as part of efforts to beef up security in the West African nation.
The Malian Armed Forces yesterday announced that the donated equipment included 29 Casspirs, 4 100 bullet resistant vests, 4 300 combat boots and 2 700 ballistic helmets.
The equipment was handed over by Germany’s ambassador to Mali Dietrich Becker on 16 July at a parade ground in Kati, the largest town in Mali’s Koulikoro Region just outside the capital Bamako.
Becker said the security situation in Mali poses a serious threat to the local population as well as the stability of the whole region and requires a comprehensive response.
He said that Germany has supported Mali’s armed forces for nearly 40 years, including equipment donations. Germany has a thousand soldiers and police deployed to the country, who are part of the UN-led Minusma peacekeeping mission, the European-led training mission (EUTM Mali) and the capacity assistance mission EUCAP Sahel Mali.
The Malian military’s Chief of Staff, Major General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, said that the donation of equipment will strengthen the military’s capabilities, logistics and ultimately state sovereignty. He noted that Germany has provided equipment previously, having delivered 25 Mercedes trucks in June 2018 along with other equipment.
Germany has long-established ties with Mali and was the first country to recognize the country’s independence in 1960.
Becker, speaking to L’Independent, said Germany had committed to a peace and security agreement in 2015. This has seen German forces train Malian security personnel and provide support to other G5 Sahel nations battling Islamist insurgencies and terrorism.