Mali's vast northern desert has been wracked by chronic instability since a military coup back in 2012. Now long-delayed municipal elections in the region's biggest city - Gao - are raising hopes that change could be around the corner.
The incident occurred in the dark as German soldiers were returning from a UN peacekeeping mission. A Malian soldier was seriously wounded after German troops returned fire.
The two casualties come after an attack on the UN mission in northern Mali that killed 10 peacekeepers last weekend. The UN has urged a swift investigation to "bring the perpetrators to justice."
An attack on the UN mission in Mali has left 10 peacekeepers dead and at least 25 injured. Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, an Islamist group with al Qaida ties, has claimed responsibility.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has called for greater commitment from the Malian government to ensure peace. So far so good, but that's not enough, says Daniel Pelz.
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