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French minister in Mali to pressure junta over Russian mercenaries

  • 2021-09-20 08:53:09
  • News

The French minister of Armed Forces arrived in Mali on Sunday at the . to put pressure on military junta to end talks to bring Russian mercenaries into the country and insist on fulfilling a promise to return the country to constitutional order in February.

Diplomatic and security sources have told Reuters that Mali… year-old military junta is about to recruit the Russian Wagner Group, and France has a diplomatic mission drive to thwart it by saying that such an arrangement is “incompatible” with an ongoing French presence. read more

West Africas main political bloc, ECOWAS, as well as other allies die fighting militants in the Sahel region, to have also expressed concern over the possible agreement.

But Mali’s junta die grip power in August 2020, dug in, pointing out that France has begun met scale up down his ten year old operation against insurgents die have ties met Al Qaeda and Islamic State over the entire region record more European countries.

The Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised objections from neighboring Niger to the prospect on Sunday of an agreement with Wagner “unacceptable, unfriendly and condescending”.

Florence Parly’s visit to Mali is the highest-flat trip by French officials since the talks with Wagner appeared.

An official of the French Ministry of Armed Forces told reporters ahead of the visit that Parly would emphasize “the dire consequences like this” decision would be taken by the Malian authorities.”

She would also underline the importance of keep to the calendar for the transition to democracy leading to elections in February 2022, the official said.

French officials describe the relationship with the junta as “complicated”, although it still trusts on Paris for counter-terrorism operations.

Paris said on Thursday it had killed the leader of Islamic State in Western Sahara in northern Mali.

Parry earlier on Sunday was in Niger to lay out plans to reform its activities in the region. read more

The French army began to redeploy troops from its bases in Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu in Northern Mali on the start of the month, French army sources have said.

France wants complete the relocation by January. It reduces its contingent to 2,500-3,000 from about 5,000, moving more assets to Niger, and encouraging other European special forces to work alongside local troops.

The European force in the Sahel comprises about 600 troops from nine countries.

 

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