In the news: Russian mercenaries in Mali?

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It is the Reuters agency that launched the information in recent days. Since then, other sources, especially cited by Young Africa, confirm: “Since the beginning of September, a contract has been ready to be signed between the Malian state and a private military company linked to the Russian group Wagner. The document prescribes the deployment of mercenaries in the country, in cooperation with the Malian army, and the protection of high-ranking personalities. The Russian company would receive 6 billion FCFA, or about 9.1 million euros. One of the sources to Reuters mentions the arrival of 1000 mercenaries, while others state figures a little lower. For several months, Jeune Afrique recalls, envoys from the Wagner group had been lobbying the authorities for the Malian transition, and in particular Sadio Camara, who had visited Russia in August last year. If Bamako has already signed a defense agreement with Russia in 2019, this contract, on the other hand, is the first to bind the Malian authorities to a private military company with Russian influence. “

Anti-French propaganda “For political and economic reasons, Russia is trying to regain a foothold in Africa, period The informant and Bamako. Hence its interest in the Central African Republic, where it sent weapons and “instructors” in exchange for mining concessions, in reality “mercenaries” from the private military company Wagner. And all this accompanied by anti-French propaganda. ”

And Informant to wonder: “What will happen to Mali, helped by France to fight terrorist groups?”

In any case, the Malian site continues, France is doing everything possible diplomatically to counter this agreement: “Paris fears that the arrival of Russian mercenaries to Mali will further destabilize the region and jeopardize the fight against terrorism in the Sahel in the United States. as France seeks to transform Operation Barkhane into an international coalition involving more of its European allies. “

Paris diplomatic counter-offensive Africa Point, President Emmanuel Macron considers “incompatible” the French military presence and for Russian mercenaries in Mali. “The arrival of Russian paramilitaries would constitute a yellow line for France, already scoured by a second coup in a year in Mali, in May last year, and while Paris, along with ECOWAS, is running the junta with difficulty in keeping its commitments to hold elections. to bring civilians back to power. “

Malin’s side, relieves The informant“A spokesman for the ruling junta in Bamako says he is not aware of such a draft agreement with Wagner. “These are rumors. Officials are not commenting on the rumors.” The spokesman for the Malian Ministry of Defense explains for his part that “Malian public opinion is in favor of increased cooperation with Russia in view of the security situation”, while assuring “that no decision has been made on the nature of this cooperation”. “

After Françafrique, Russafrique? Today and Ouagadougou. “If all this information turned out to be true, it would therefore mean that we must also give credibility to the Russian miasms that would have surrounded the coup on August 18, 2020. But Wagner, in Mali, beyond the accusations of predation, of lack of respect for the human rights, it is also a blow to France in its backyard, after the CAR, is still today.The question that the Sahelians must ask themselves is to know what they would gain with the Russians, because we must stop being naive.If Russafrique would be a pale avatar by Françafrique … then it’s kif-kif bourricot! ”

Does Mali really need the Russians? “Be careful not to play with fire!” WakatSera. “By landing in the house, mercenaries who have no limit in their actions …”

And then Mali really needs external help? Asks the Burkinabè site. “Can not the astronomical sums that would be used to pay the Wagner Company make it possible to equip more Malian soldiers and offer them better living conditions?”

Finally, I wonder again WakatSera“If all these Malian colonels, who abandoned the barracks, seized by the dizziness of the throne, made the fight against Mali’s aggression their duty, would the country still have to entrust its security and defense to budget-hungry ‘instructors’ elsewhere?”

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