German foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, has described the improvement of the equipment and supplies to soldiers abroad to use as a “total overdue”.
“The German armed forces much has been saved in a long time. This must not be at the expense of the safety of our soldiers abroad,” he said on Thursday during a visit to a EU training camp in Mali’s Koulikoro, in the 150 Bundeswehr soldiers are stationed. Last Sunday, an attack with a car has been perpetrated bomb and small arms on the field stock, in the case of the three Malian soldiers were injured.
The Cabinet had on Wednesday approved a draft law to improve the attractiveness of the Bundeswehr. The “law for the sustainable strengthening of the personnel readiness of the armed forces” provides better protection for the soldiers abroad. Also planned is an improvement for the use of injured soldiers, The Bundeswehr will in future bear the costs, if family members want to be involved in the therapy.
Maas visited in the Camp in Koulikoro where on Sunday, a suicide bomber with about 500 kilograms of explosives in the car in the air has blown up. “The destruction in the warehouse are much stronger than I had imagined. This shows once again how dangerous it is,” said the foreign Minister and campaigned for more respect for the work of the soldiers in the field. “I would hope that the recognition for the soldier is inside and the soldiers of the Bundeswehr at home in Germany, what is being done here.”
Koulikoro is located only 60 kilometers from the capital Bamako, far to the South of Mali. The area previously considered relatively safe. An attack of this magnitude on a Camp with international troops had not been there, at least not yet.
The Minister of foreign Affairs had already visited on Wednesday, the approximately 700 German soldiers are involved about 900 kilometres further North in Gao, the UN peacekeeping mission Minusma. There it always comes back to attacks on UN bases.