Germany has donated 29 Casspir armoured personnel carriers and other equipment including 4,100 bullet-resistant vests, 4,300 combat boots and 2,700 ballistic helmets to Mali.
This is part of Germany's efforts to increase the security in Mali, the equipment was handed over by the German ambassador to Mali Dietrich Becker on 16 July at a parade ground in Kati, Koulikoro Region. Training on the South African made Casspir was conducted by instructors from the peacekeeping contingent of EU countries.
During the handover ceremony, Ambassador Becker said the security situation in Mali poses a serious threat to the local population as well as the stability of the whole region and requires a comprehensive response.
The Malian military’s Chief of Staff, Major General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, said that the donation of equipment will strengthen the military’s capabilities, logistics and ultimately state sovereignty. He noted that Germany has provided equipment previously, having delivered 25 Mercedes trucks in June 2018 along with other equipment.
Mali which has been in the grip of an unprecedented political crisis, one of the most serious since the landlocked West African country gained independence from France in 1960. The country was affected by a coup in March 2012 - and a savage rebellion in the north that has caused a lot of destruction in the country.
Mali has long been home to various uprisings by an ethnic group called the Tuaregs. The Tuareg are a group of nomadic people originating from the Saharan regions of North Africa, eventually settling in Mali, Libya, Algeria, and Burkina Faso. Tuaregs claim that they are marginalized by the government of Mali, and thus seek official recognition of their identity and the right to self-determination in the northern part of the country, which they call Azawad. As a result, Tuaregs have staged intermittent military uprisings since Mali’s independence from France.
As a result of the numerous violent groups currently operating in Mali, various nations have donated armed and other military-grade as well as dual-use equipment to the embattled country. For example, in December 2018, Qatar delivered twenty-eight Storm armoured vehicle to Mali, also, earlier this year, the European Union donated two ISR capable Cessna 208 aircraft to the Malian Air Force.