The three Europeans suspected “Terrorism” whose arrest in central Mali was announced by the Malian army, German members of an NGO as part of a town twinning were present and released, we learned on Wednesday April 13 from a source in the European diplomatic service and the German foreign ministry.
“The three people arrested by the Malian army are German members of an NGO who are present in Mali as part of a town twinning”told AFP a European diplomatic official on condition of anonymity.
“I can confirm that three German nationals were arrested in Diabaly this weekend. The embassy (in Bamako) has contacted them and provided them with consular assistance. All have been released and are doing well.”, said a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, Christofer Burger, at a press conference on Wednesday. He added that the three were not Germans “not as part of an official German mission”without giving any further details.
Annalena Baerbock visits Mali
Her arrest was announced when Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had been in Mali since Monday evening. In particular, she is to meet the head of the military junta, Colonel Assimi Goïta, at a time when Berlin is planning to withdraw its soldiers from the country.
The Malian army announced the arrest on April 10 in a press release on Tuesday evening “of 5 suspects, including 3 European nationals” during anti-jihadist operations in Diabaly, a town about 300 km northwest of Bamako. The press release did not provide any information about their identity “suspects” Europeans.
Ms Baerbock’s trip, scheduled through Saturday, will also take her to neighboring Niger, a key country in the deployment of international forces to the Sahel. Mali has been ruled by a military junta since August 2020 and has been in turmoil since 2012. The jihadists spread from the north of the country, reaching neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
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