Germany's cabinet has approved plans to increase Berlin's contribution to the mission in Mali. If passed by the Bundestag, 330 more soldiers will be deployed to help train Malian forces and give logisitical aid.
Germany's defense minister has said German soldiers stationed in Mali play a vital role tackling the problems forcing people to flee their homes. Von der Leyen visited troops during a trip to the West African country.
The headquarters of the European Union training military mission in Mali - to which Germany contributes 200 troops - has been attacked by four gunmen, one of whom was killed by security personnel.
The "Süddeutsche Zeitung" says a White Paper is being readied to allow the domestic deployment of the Bundeswehr. But Germany's constitution sets very strict limits for the use of the armed forces within its borders.
The German cabinet has approved the deployment of hundreds of Bundeswehr troops to Mali. The German army is also expanding its training mission for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq.
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