It is not the first time that the Germans have stopped their mission. In August, due to a similar dispute over airspace, transport flights and reconnaissance operations were halted. At the beginning of last week, these were resumed after the Malians finally released the airspace. There are currently more than a thousand German soldiers present in Mali. Most are located in the north of the country.
The UN mission Minusma has been trying to fight jihadists in Mali since 2013. The country, which has a population of some 20 million, has experienced three military coups since 2012 and is widely regarded as highly unstable.
Since the most recent coup in May 2021, the country has been led by a transitional military government that maintains close relations with Russia. For example, the paramilitary Wagner group is present in the country, albeit only for military training, according to Bamako.