Germany has announced it will deploy 650 soldiers to Mali. Berlin says the troops will help the UN peacekeeping mission there and ease the pressure on French forces. The decision came after a highly emotional session in the Bundestag.
Family members and dignitaries including Germany's defense minister paid tribute to soldiers who died in a helicopter crash. They'd been conducting surveillance as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in war-torn Mali.
Germany's Bundeswehr has supported a UN mission in Mali for nearly four years. DW takes a look at what it does there and the mission's role within Germany's larger Africa and Sahel strategy.
An early-morning attack on a UN base in the central region was followed by another hours later in northwestern Mali. The assaults confirmed the West African state as the world's deadliest active UN deployment.
The Bundeswehr helicopter that crashed in Mali last month, killing two German soldiers, had lost its rotor blades before hitting the ground. The military stressed it was still too early to say what caused the crash.
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