Germany to pledge more help at Mali conference
BERLIN, Germany, January 30, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The German Government will today (29 January) pledge to provide Mali and its African partners with a comprehensive assistance package at the donors conference being held by the African Union and UN in Addis Ababa.
The package includes a contribution of 20 million US dollars to the UN's trust fund for the African support mission AFISMA and the Malian armed forces.
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement on the subject in Berlin today:
"Germany recognizes its responsibility. To support the work of liberating Mali, we will be providing financial, logistical and humanitarian assistance as well as equipment and expertise to train Mali's army.
In so doing, we are helping to ensure that the operation becomes more and more African in character.
That will pave the way towards defeating the Islamist extremists in Mali. While the military operation is right and proper, we do need to stay determined in seeking to launch a serious negotiation process as well. In the long term, the solution will have to be political."
At the donors conference in Addis Ababa today, Germany will pledge to provide support consisting of a range of short and long term measures.
Germany will make a total of 20 million US dollars available to the UN's Mali trust fund for the African support mission AFISMA and the Malian armed forces. This includes equipment for the Malian army (lorries and a field hospital, flak jackets and metal detectors).
Below is a list of further measures which have already been completed, are currently being implemented or are at the detailed planning stage:
- Germany is supporting AFISMA by transporting ECOWAS troops to Mali on two Transall transport aircraft. This costs around 3 million US dollars per month.
- Germany will be making a substantial contribution to the EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) in the form of military personnel and equipment. The mission is due to start in Mali in February.
- Germany is providing Mali with extensive humanitarian relief. Around 21 million US dollars' worth of aid has been supplied since December 2011.
- Germany also stands ready to pick up its development cooperation with the Malian Government where it left off after many years of extensive work, as soon as the security situation allows and the political conditions are in place. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has considerable funds available for this purpose.
- Germany is supporting the political process in Mali of finding a peacefully negotiated solution for the north of the country. Some initial preparatory steps have already been taken, involving the provision of 800,000 US dollars so far.
The EU has furthermore announced that it will supply 50 million euros to the trust fund for Mali.
The German Government's representative at the donors conference will be Ambassador Egon Kochanke, the Federal Foreign Office's Regional Director for Sub Saharan Africa and the Sahel.