EUTM Mali (European Union Training Mission in Mali) is a European Union multinational military training mission headquartered in BamakoMali.

Photo: Recent instability has pushed Czech Republic, France and allies fighting Islamist militants in Mali to announce they would pull out troops after almost a decade. [shutterstockMassimo Vernicesole]

22 EU members (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden) and 3 non-EU countries (not members of the EU: Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro) are engaged in this mission and have sent soldiers to the Republic of Mali. EUTM Mali (European Union Training Mission in Mali) is a European Union multinational military training mission headquartered in BamakoMali. Wikipedia

03 November 2022 |  Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.

The Czech army, which since 2020 has been in command of the currently suspended EU training mission in Mali, will end its participation by the end of the year, Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová informed.

Recent instability has pushed France and allies fighting Islamist militants in Mali to announce they would pull out troops after almost a decade.

“We really cannot afford to have soldiers there who will just sit on the base. We are trying to make sure that the foreign missions where we send our soldiers bring something to us as the Czech Republic and to the soldiers in terms of training,” Černochová said, noting that the withdrawal of some 120 Czech troops had already begun.

Because partnering with the Malian army is no longer possible due to the government refusing to continue having Malian soldiers take part in the programme, Czechia could look towards other partners, the Czech News Agency reported.

Talks with Mauritania, Senegal Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan and Ethiopia, are currently underway.

“The region is very troubled. On the other hand, as Europe, as the Western world, we cannot leave this region,” said Černochová said, noting that the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-linked private military company, currently leads operations in Mali.