The involvement of German troops in the UN-led missions in Darfur and South Sudan is to be extended until March 31, 2019, with an unchanged ceiling of 50 on troops in each case. Up to 650 soldiers will continue to be part of the NATO-led Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean. This mandate too will run until March 31, 2019.
The MINUSMA mission to stabilise Mali will be extended until May 31, 2019. The ceiling on German troops will be raised by 100 to 1,100. The German Bundestag must still approve the motions of the German government.
Alleviating the humanitarian situation in South Sudan
The agreement signed in August 2015 to end the civil war has still not brought peace to South Sudan. The ceasefire remains fragile and the humanitarian situation is worsening dramatically.
German involvement in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is still urgently needed. With this decision, the German government continues to contribute significantly to stabilising South Sudan and the region. In this way it is translating into practice its Africa strategy and the Federal Government Policy Guidelines for Africa.
Positive developments in Sudan
The security situation in Darfur remains tense and the humanitarian situation is precarious. There are, however, also positive trends. The government of Sudan extended the unilateral ceasefire several times in the course of 2017. Both the government and armed groups have released prisoners of war.
Nevertheless, Darfur is facing numerous challenges, which cannot conceivably be addressed without continued international engagement. UNAMID is protecting the civilian population by stepping up patrols in refugee camps.
Germany’s engagement in both UNMISS and UNAMID is part of the long-standing efforts of the German government to bring about a lasting resolution to the conflict and to build peace in Sudan and South Sudan. The open points of conflict between Sudan and South Sudan must now be resolved so that the two states can coexist in peace.
Focus on Mali
The stabilisation of Mali is a focus of Germany’s engagement in the Sahel Zone. Like Sudan and South Sudan, this is an important goal of the German government’s Africa policy. Last year important progress was made in Mali. Yet the security situation has deteriorated further. Radical reforms in the security sector have not been addressed. 2018 will be a critical year for Mali, with presidential and parliamentary elections. This makes it vitally important for MINUSMA to stabilise the country.
The mission will also be cooperating with the G5 Sahel Joint Force. It will provide logistical support in putting in place infrastructure and will provide support inside Mali in the form of consumables and transport for the wounded.
The ceiling on troops for the new mandate will be raised to 1,100. More logistical staff will be needed to maintain and repair the vehicle pool. At the start of December 2017, Germany also took on the full responsibility for managing Camp Castor. And more staff are needed at the air transport base in Niamey. In Mali, Germany is engaged not only in the field of security policy, but also in terms of development and foreign policy. Germany’s support for the peace process takes a joined-up approach. At the end of February at the G5 Sahel Conference it was decided with France and the EU to provide comprehensive military and development assistance.
Fight against terrorism in the Mediterranean
German forces will continue to be part of the NATO-led maritime security operation in the Mediterranean (Operation Sea Guardian). The operation monitors the area in order to address international terrorism and arms trafficking at sea. Mediterranean states are also receiving assistance to help them develop their own capacities to defend themselves. Parallel to this, the EU’s EUNAVFOR MED Operation SOPHIA is receiving support in the form of information sharing and logistical assistance.
- African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
- United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
- United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)
- NATO-led maritime security operation in the Mediterranean (Operation Sea Guardian)