The French authorities on Tuesday openly worried about the discussions between Bamako and the Russian private company Wagner. This information was revealed on Monday by the news agency Reuters. For the French government, a commitment by the Russian private company Wagner in Mali would be “incompatible” with the maintenance of a French force.
Asked about this subject this Tuesday before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, Florence Parly, the Minister of Defense, first reiterated the commitment of the French forces in Mali and fought in eight years of jihadist groups: “We are still in Mali and we will no doubt be there in the coming months and the years … “
But the minister said she was very worried about a possible signing of an agreement between Bamako and the Russian private company Wagner. “On the other hand, worrying things are happening in Mali and if this rumor goes that the Malian authorities would enter into a contract with the Wagner company, it would be extremely worrying and contradictory, inconsistent with everything we have undertaken for years and everything we have for intends to support the Sahel. “
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For Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Russian paramilitary intervention could even lead to the withdrawal of French troops. “Wagner is a private militia made up of soldiers who have excelled with challenges, predations, violations of all kinds. And that can not correspond to any solution, it is completely irreconcilable with our presence. In the Central African Republic, this has caused a deterioration in the security situation. The intervention of a group of this type would be incompatible with the actions of Mali’s Sahelian and international partners. ”
In Bamako, the Ministry of Defense this Tuesday admitted to journalists that it had held talks with the Wagner company. “Mali now intends to diversify its relations in the medium term to ensure the country’s security. We have not signed anything with Wagner, but we are discussing with everyone, they say to the Ministry of Defense.