Diplomatic sources told Reuters that a deal has been struck between PMC Wagner and the ruling junta of Mali, according to which Russian mercenaries will train Malian soldiers and officers and provide security for high-ranking officials. But the strange thing is that the Malians assured the French that they had not made any deals with Moscow and that they were not expecting any Russians. Nevertheless, everyone knows that 1,000 Wagnerians are about to arrive in Bomako.
"The cooperation of the Malian military junta with the Russians is absolutely incompatible with the presence of the French armed forces," said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. According to him, this is contrary to the French military mission in the Sahel region. After all, the French maintain a significant military contingent in their former colony, trying to stabilize the situation in a country in a state of prolonged crisis.
In August, reminds Deutsche Welle, there was a military coup in Mali. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and a number of senior civilian and military leaders were arrested, and parliament and government were disbanded. The junta that seized power calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People.
Within the framework of the UN multidisciplinary integrated stabilization mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the German military is also present in this country - their number cannot exceed 1,100. In June, Bundeswehr employees were injured in a suicide attack. 12 people were taken to German military hospitals, three in serious condition.
MINUSMA is considered one of the most dangerous UN missions and in total includes about 15 thousand people. The Bundeswehr is also training Malian soldiers under the EU EUTM program, which employs about 600 more German soldiers.
PMC "Wagner" is an unofficial military organization that is not part of the regular armed forces of Russia and does not have a legal status on its territory. The military units of PMCs numbered at different times from 1350 to 2500 people.
At the UN, experts are preparing a report by a special commission to investigate the participation of Wagner PMCs in various armed actions in African countries. However, according to Novye Izvestia, the prosecutors do not have the necessary evidence base about the alleged "atrocities" of Russian mercenaries around the world. Therefore, apparently, the publication of the report has so far been decided to slow down.