EU freezes Mali training missions after military coup,

The EU has suspended its training missions in Mali following last week’s military coup in the West African country. Germany says some of the soldiers behind the armed takeover were trained in Europe.

The European Union has temporarily halted its two training missions in Mali after the army seized power in a coup, officials said Wednesday.

The missions assisting Mali’s army and police are part of international efforts to stabilize the West African country as it grapples with Islamist militants and a struggling economy. Following a meeting with EU defense ministers in Berlin, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he hoped the missions could resume ”as soon as possible.”

Malian soldiers took power on August 18 after detaining President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and forcing his resignation. The coup led to celebration on the streets of the capital, Bamako, but Mali’s international partners voiced concern the fragile state may slide further into instability.

The EU has trained around 18,000 soldiers since its military mission (EUTM Mali) was launched in 2013, but Borrell insisted the top officers behind the coup were not among them.

”We don’t train the armies to be putschists,” he said, adding that the most prominent coup leader was trained in Russia, while others were trained in the UK and the US. However, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told reporters in Berlin that ”some of the leading figures of the coup d’etat have also enjoyed training in Germany and France.” Läs artikel