France warns Mali that if it hires Russian mercenaries, it will be “isolated” internationally

The French government has warned Mali that “it will lose international support” and “isolate” it if it comes to an agreement with the Wagner group, owned by a businessman close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, to sell mercenaries in the lands of Africa.

The French Defense Minister Florence Parly stressed that on her recent visit to Mali she “made very clear and very direct” what France thought “of Wagner and the mercenaries in general”. he added.

France warns Mali that if it hires Russian mercenaries, it will be “isolated” internationally
France warns Mali that if it hires Russian mercenaries, it will be “isolated” internationally

“I told them what the international community thinks and that Mali will isolate itself, the support of the international community, which is very committed, and lose entire parts of its sovereignty if Mali makes an agreement to ally with mercenaries,” stressed he

He has also branded the criticism of Malian Prime Minister Choguel Maiga as “unacceptable”, who in his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations affirmed that Paris had “abandoned” the Malian authorities in the fight against terrorism.

The French Foreign Ministry followed Maiga’s words during the meeting on Monday when he stressed that the “transformation” of Operation “Barkhane” did not mean an “exit from Mali” and argued that it was not a “unilateral decision” .

“The recent neutralization of the leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), Adnan Abu Ualid al Saharaui, bears witness to this. The death of a French soldier on September 24 in an operation against terrorist groups reminds us that our commitment is sometimes paid for in blood, “the ministry said.

The Malian government last week rejected criticism of Bamako over the past few days for alleged plans to use Russian mercenaries to deal with growing insecurity, particularly in the north and center of its territory.

The Wagner group has sent mercenaries to several African countries – including Libya and the Central African Republic (CAR) – in recent years, which has raised suspicions of Moscow’s involvement in various conflicts on the continent.

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