KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – Mali’s military government refused to let a German military transport plane to fly over its territory, the German air force said Thursday.
An Airbus A400M plane “with about 80 soldiers on board was denied the right to fly over Mali on its way to Niamey, Niger,” the German air force said on Twitter.
There was no immediate comment from the Mali government.
But German media said the plane had been on its way from the Wunstorf airbase in northern Germany to Niger’s capital Niamey, where the German military has a logistics hub.
The plane was then diverted to Gran Canaria, part of Spain’s Canary Islands, according to media reports.
The chair of the defense committee of Germany’s lower house described the refusal of overflight rights as “incomprehensible” and that Germany needed explanation from the military junta.
As part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, Germany has deployed some 1,200 troops to the West African country.