France warns that Russian mercenaries have started plundering Mali’s resources

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has again denounced the presence of Russian Wagner Group mercenaries who are in Mali and have already begun “looting” the country’s resources to protect the junta’s current military coup.

“These are former Russian soldiers who are armed by Russia and accompanied by Russian logistics,” assured Le Drian in an interview published by the “Journal du Dimanche” this Sunday, in which he accused the organization of actually being at the forefront of the interests of Russia to be on the African continent.

The minister explained that Wagner was “using the weakness of certain states to consolidate and increase Russia’s influence in Africa,” following a pattern observed in other countries on the continent, such as the Central African Republic, where they are directly “at passed the desolation”. stop protecting the authorities to end up “exploiting mining resources with impunity”.

France warns that Russian mercenaries have started plundering Mali’s resources
France warns that Russian mercenaries have started plundering Mali’s resources

“It’s the same in Mali. They are already using the country’s resources in exchange for protecting the junta. They are plundering Mali,” lamented the minister, repeating the January allegations.

The Malian authorities have admitted that there are Russian elements working as military instructors in the country, while the Kremlin denies any connection to the situation.

Although Paris had warned that Wagner’s arrival in Mali was “incompatible” with his soldiers remaining in Mali, the French discourse seems to have evolved.

In fact, the head of French diplomacy is very cautious about the future of the European Takuba force in that country, while the junta this week called for Mali’s withdrawal from the Danish contingent.

“We are discussing with our partners how to respond to this new situation. Our fight against terrorism must continue, but no doubt under different conditions,” the minister said.

The military junta rules the country after the double coup in August 2020 and May 2021. Both France and Germany have deployed military personnel in Mali as part of the European Union Training Mission in Mali and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Country (MINUSMA) .

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