According to reports, German defence minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, denied an invitation from Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, to visit German soldiers positioned in Mali while on an official four-nation trip through Africa to survey how countries are battling the spread of Ebola.
While speaking to a local media outlet, people representing both the defence and the health minister stated that it was an administrative error and that Karrenbauer was presently in Mali, meeting the troops stationed there.
In any case, the error just added to an overall story that Kramp-Karrenbauer, is struggling to hold her post as leader of Germany's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) as the party plans for the departure of its long-term leader, Angela Merkel.
With the individual support of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Kramp-Karrenbauer emerged as a victorious candidate from the CDU's administration conference towards the end of last year. In October 2018, Merkel reported she would step away from active German politics toward the end of her current term in 2021.
Kramp-Karrenbauer has been a subject to numerous controversies since the time she took the office of the Defence minister. During a casual appearance for Germany's Carnival festivities in the month of March, she made trans-phobic jokes and later inferred she stated that she supported restrictions on free speech after a YouTuber's attack on her party circulated around the web just before May's election for the European Parliament.
In the most recent setback for her, she faced intense criticism from spheres outside and from within her party for successfully assuming the post of Germany's defence minister, when the post opened in the month of July. Critics saw her unexpected keenness for the post as a political move to raise her failing political profile.
According to reports, the current health minister, Jens Spahn, who had initially launched a failed bid against Karrenbauer for the CDU's top post, was tipped to get the role of the defence minister.
(Inputs from agencies)