The work of Russia’s private military companies in the Sahel-Sahara region was “unacceptable,” said Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly. News about the arrival of the Russian Wagner Group in Mali was first published in the summer of 2021.
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced in September that the governments of Russia and Bamako had signed an agreement. The Russian mercenaries have already begun training soldiers of the Malian armed forces.
Mali is waging a war against terrorist groups occupying the northern part of the country. Paris has recently admitted that its operation failed and started withdrawing troops from the republic. Meanwhile, the Malian government accuses the French military of behind-the-scenes manipulations during the operation in the desert.
According to Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga, France provided training to terrorist groups. Reportedly, even the terrorist leaders were agents of the French security services.
Controlled terrorists were a convenient policy instrument for France to influence the Malian government and use the country's natural resources. However, France simply has no power to impose its policies on Russia and Mali. Paris’s attempts to dictate the terms of choice of partners and ways to ensure peace and security are unacceptable for both Russia and the African republic. It has been already made clear to Paris that such a diktat will not be accepted.