François Bausch, Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence; Credit: SIP

On the occasion of the meeting of the internal security and defence committee of the Chamber of Deputies on Friday, Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, François Bausch, announced the postponement of his working visit to Mali, initially scheduled for 31 January to 3 February 2022 due to the worrying political and security situation in Mali.

Following the Mali transitional government's announcement of an extension of the duration of the transition to four years and the cancellation of the elections in February 2022, Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister held talks with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, as well as several of his counterparts on the occasion of the informal Council of Defence Ministers, which took place on 12 and 13 January 2022 in Brest, France. The final decision to postpone the working visit was taken following these consultations.

“At the political level, the transitional government is ignoring its own commitments and trying to hold on to power for another four years", stated Minister Bausch during the parliamentary meeting. He added: “However, our primary objective must be to fight terrorism and to support Mali in regaining constitutional, democratic, inclusive and sustainable governance as quickly as possible"

Minister Bausch also mentioned the proven presence of Russian mercenaries which he deemed extremely worrying in view of the risk of abuses against the population.

"I agree to maintain our military commitments for the moment, but we must be ready to reassess the situation at any time and above all, we must continue to keep all channels of communication open with the government in place", concluded Luxembourg's Minister of Defence.