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Germany’s Army says the Last of its Soldiers are on their Way Home

The last German Bundeswehr soldiers deployed to the West African nation of Mali as part of the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission there have departed. The MINUSMA acronym comes from the French version of the mission name: United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. The mission — which the UN maintains was to support Mali’s authorities as they sought to stabilize the country, protecting human rights and civilians under attack from radical Islamist groups operating in the country — lasted 10 years, having begun in 2013. The withdrawal of UN forces has caused concern among some observers who fear an intensification of clashes between armed groups operating in the country. Mali’s foreign minister, Abdoulaye Diop, said that rather than adequately adjusting to the security situation in Mali, the UN mission and its soldiers had become “part of the problem.”