D.he Bundeswehr has not yet been clear about the background to the attack in Mali, in which twelve German soldiers and one UN soldier from Belgium were injured on Friday. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Monday on Deutschlandfunk that the investigation was ongoing, but so far there has been no commitment to the act. The CDU politician pointed out, however, that the terrorist militia Islamic State and a group close to Al-Qaeda are active in the region.
A suicide bomber attacked a UN patrol with a car bomb in the West African crisis country on Friday. The injured Bundeswehr soldiers were flown back at the weekend and are being treated in clinics in Ulm and Koblenz. According to the minister, the condition of the wounded soldiers, including three seriously injured, is stable. The rescue chain stood, she said with a view to criticism of the equipment of the Bundeswehr in Mali.
Kramp-Karrenbauer said that the state structures in Mali had weakened and that terrorists were acting more aggressively. This was also discussed during the recent extension of the Bundeswehr mandate for Mali. The minister called a debate about what to achieve in the country as necessary. You have to formulate realistic goals for the region and also include operational experience in Afghanistan. She wanted to talk to UN representatives about this in New York on Tuesday. Nevertheless, Kramp-Karrenbauer pleaded for the mission to continue. It could not be in German and European interest that the Sahel zone should become completely unstable and terrorists spread.
Veterans: Soldiers inadequately protected
Meanwhile, the Association of German Veterans Lamented the inadequate protection of the Bundeswehr during missions abroad. “Our soldiers do not get the best protection when deployed abroad,” said Chairman Bernhard Drescher of the “RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland”. “A shortage of transport helicopters was criticized weeks ago with a view to Mali in order to close the rescue chain,” explained Drescher.
It has now been shown that in addition to a UN helicopter and a French helicopter, a civilian helicopter had to be requested, which, however, did not have to land directly at the site of the attack, but for safety reasons 50 kilometers further. “And a transport of 50 kilometers overland means 50 kilometers of risk in a country like Mali.” If the members of the Bundestag voted for the Bundeswehr to be deployed abroad, then they must also vote for the appropriate protective measures, added Drescher. This applies not only to helicopters, but also to armed drones. “Anything else makes me angry. Because it’s half-hearted, ”emphasized the association chairman.
FDP criticizes demands for withdrawal
The FDP defense politician Alexander Müller criticized calls for an end to the mission in Mali in response to the suicide attack. Then the terrorists would have achieved their goal and felt downright encouraged to continue this type of attacks worldwide, said Müller of the German press agency. “Secondly, such a bloody attack must not be used to push through political demands out of a feeling of panic. We are all challenged to carefully weigh up all Bundeswehr deployments, to get an idea of the reality of the deployment on site, and then to make decisions of conscience, ”said Müller.
For this it is important that the expiring Afghanistan mission be thoroughly evaluated and analyzed. What needs to be clarified is what can be contributed to stabilization on site and what does not succeed. “We have to learn much better from this. Panic and haste have always been a bad basis for important decisions, “said Müller, chairman of the FDP in the defense committee.