EU to close Mali military training mission

Thursday May 09 2024

French soldiers from Operation Barkhane stand outside their armored personnel carrier during a sandstorm in Inat, Mali on May 26, 2016. PHOTO | REUTERS


The European Union said on Wednesday it would end its military training mission in Mali, reflecting a deterioration in relations between the bloc and the West African country's military junta.

The mission will end when its current mandate expires on May 18 this year, the EU's diplomatic service said in a statement.

For 11 years, the mission trained Malian armed forces and members of the G5 Sahel, a multinational counter-terrorism force, the statement added.

The EU suspended the mission in 2022 after the junta said it was pulling out of the G5 Sahel.

Read: Burkina, Niger withdraw from G5 alliance

The EU said it had decided not to extend the mission's mandate following a strategic review and consultations with the Malian authorities, also taking into account the "evolution of the political and security situation on the ground".


Mali has been under military rule since August 2020, the first of eight coups in West and Central Africa over four years, including in its neighbours Burkina Faso and Niger.

The current junta seized power in 2021 and later promised to take 24 months from March 2022 to restore civilian rule.

But it said in September last year that it would postpone February elections for technical reasons, sparking outrage among political opposition groups.