After the military coup at the end of May, people in Mali took to the streets and demanded that the Russian government send mercenaries to restore domestic order.
The demonstration took place one day after learning that Russian President Vladimir Putin was completing the details of the Mali agreement in order to be able to send mercenaries to this African country to improve its security. Russian President Vladimir Putin will also support his country’s interests in Africa.
A coup took place in Mali in late May. Interim president, BarndowAnd the prime minister, Motal Varnet, Allegedly arrested by the military and taken to Katy Barracks about 15 kilometers from the capital Bamako.
In another military coup in Mali, demonstrations took place outside the Russian Embassy in Bamako, calling on Moscow to intervene and restore order.#France It is losing its influence in Africa, and Mali is carrying out military operations. pic.twitter.com/0MaTK00WfN
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The arrests of Ndaw and Ouané occurred several hours after the formation of the new government. According to the source, after the removal of two important military commanders, this may arouse dissatisfaction from the military.
France is concerned about Russia’s progress in its former colony.According to Reuters, from the Elysee Palace A diplomatic campaign has been launched to prevent the Malian military government from issuing the agreement, which will allow the Wagner Group, a Russian private military contractor, to conduct business in Mali.
Up to a thousand mercenaries
Two sources explained to the news agency that at least 1,000 mercenaries may be involved in the transaction. Two other sources believed that this number was low, but did not provide a figure.
this Wagner Group will receive approximately 6 billion CFA francs According to sources consulted, their services are monthly ($10.8 million). Security sources working in the area explained that the mercenaries will train the Malian army and provide protection for senior officials.
France’s diplomatic offensive will pass Get help from multiple partnersIncluding the United States, persuaded the Malian military government not to advance the agreement, and sent senior diplomats to Moscow and Mali for talks.
France is worried about the arrival of Russian mercenaries Sabotage your counter-terrorism operations Ten years of fighting against insurgents related to Al Qaeda and ISIS in the Sahel region of West Africa.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond, but French diplomatic sources criticized Intervention of Wagner Group in other countries.
“Therefore, the intervention of this actor is incompatible with the efforts of the Mali Sahel region and the international partners participating in the Sahel Security and Development Alliance for the security and development of the region,” the source said.
The spokesperson of the leader of the Malian military government who took power in the military coup in August 2020 denied having information about such agreements.
“That’s a rumor. Officials do not comment on the rumors,” spokesman Baba Cisse said, who declined to comment further.
A spokesperson for the Mali Ministry of Defence explained that “public opinion is Conducive to strengthening cooperation with Russia Given the current security situation. But a decision has not yet been made (on the nature of cooperation). “
The existence of mercenaries Would jeopardize Mali’s funds Four diplomatic and security sources said they helped rebuild the Malian army’s international partners and allied training missions.
Having Russian mercenaries stationed in Mali will strengthen Russia’s motivation for global prestige and influence, and will become part of a broader movement Shake Africa’s enduring power dynamicsThe diplomatic source said.
More than a dozen people connected with the Wagner Group have previously told Reuters that the group has already started Secret combat missions representing the Kremlin In Ukraine, Libya and Syria. Russian authorities deny that Wagner’s contractors are implementing their orders.
The Malian military government says it will oversee the transition to democracy, which will lead to Elections in February 2022.
As relations with France deteriorated, the military government Mali strengthens contacts with RussiaThis includes the Minister of Defense Sadio Camara, who visited Moscow on September 1 and supervised tank exercises. Four.
A senior source from the Mali Ministry of Defense stated that the visit was conducted under the “military cooperation and assistance framework” and did not elaborate. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin met with Kamala at an international military forum and “discussed in detail the defense cooperation projects and regional security issues related to West Africa.”
Christoph Bigot, the senior African diplomat of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was sent to Moscow on September 1 to talk with Putin’s key figure in the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the visit.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the visit. Bigot could not be reached immediately for comment. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to questions from Reuters.