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Mali: Germany resumes MINUSMA reconnaissance patrols

German troops in Mali   -  
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SEYLLOU/AFP or licensors


Germany has resumed reconnaissance patrols in eastern Mali as part of a UN peacekeeping mission known as MINUSMA, the military said Wednesday, after suspending the operations last month when the Malian government denied flyover rights.

"Reconnaissance operations outside the city of Gao resumed yesterday, Tuesday," a military spokeswoman said in a statement. Most German forces in Mali are based close to Gao.

On August 12, the defence ministry said it had suspended reconnaissance and related operations after Mali's ruling junta denied permission for flights to support personnel rotation under the UN's MINUSMA mission.

In Wednesday's statement, the military said that a unit which recently arrived in Gao, "was now fully ready to work, and had taken over the task of securing the camp". 

MINUSMA, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, was launched in 2013 to help Mali cope with a bloody jihadi campaign.

The row erupted as Mali's junta turns away from France and toward Russia in its fight against jihadism.

The long-running insurgency has claimed thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

The relationship between Bamako and Paris, its former colonial power and traditional ally, has deteriorated in recent months.

The arrival of Russian paramilitaries in the country on the invitation of the government was a key factor in France's decision to pull its military forces out.

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