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International Partners Knock Mali Over Recruitment Of Russian Mercenaries


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Germany, France, Britain and other members of the international community have chided the government of Mali for recruiting Russian mercenaries in the protracted armed conflict in the West African nation.

Mali has experienced sustained political instability, with three military coups since 2012. A military transitional government took power in May this year.

Meanwhile militant attacks are common and often linked to extremist Islamist groups in the country.

In a joint statement published by the German Foreign Ministry in a statement on Thursday, the international partners accused the government in Mali of bringing mercenaries from the Russian company Wagner into the country, saying the move undermines the peace process.

“We, the international partners committed to supporting Mali and its people in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace and stability and combat terrorism, firmly condemn the deployment of mercenary troops on Malian territory.

“We deeply regret the choice of the Malian transitional authorities to use already scarce public funds to pay foreign mercenaries instead of supporting the Malian Armed Forces and public services to the benefit of the Malian people”. said the statement, with 16 signatories.

The partners said they were aware of the involvement of the Russian government in providing material support to the deployment of the Wagner group in Mali. They called on Russia to “revert to a responsible and constructive behavior in the region”.



The statement however, added that no one in Mali could initially be reached for a response.

The suggestion that Russian mercenaries were active in Mali caused widespread concern among leaders in Europe in September, with several calling for a review or end to missions there.

Some 1,350 German soldiers are deployed in Mali within the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA and an EU training mission, EUTM.

While responding to the development in a tweet, German Defence Minister, Christine Lambrecht said they consider the decision of those responsible in Mali to bring mercenaries into the country to be wrong and expressly regret it.

She said this would not help improve security in Mali and vowed to closely coordinate with other international partners on the further course of action and on engagement in Mali. “The safety of our servicemen and women has the highest priority”, she added.

France, the former colonial power in Mali, is fighting against Islamist terrorist groups in the vast Sahel region with Operation Barkhane. Some 5,100 French soldiers are currently deployed.


Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=72216

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