Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga, speaking during the UN General Assembly, denounced the decision of Paris to abandon the conflict-torn country, when they draw down troops this year. Prime Minister Maiga said, that he regretted the “unilateral announcement” of French troops withdrawal and noted that this decision prompted the Malian government to “seek other partners”. This historical speech has confirmed the contract between the government and a Russian private military company.
As part of a series of meetings during the UN General Assembly, a Malian delegation led by Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga met with the Russian delegation.
Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov confirmed that Russia will continue to develop cooperation with Mali in all areas. The Malian side, in turn, confirmed the readiness of the country’s authorities to develop relations in all areas: economic development, education, culture, personal contacts, as well as in the areas of security and defence, regional security.
The head of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov confirmed that the Malian authorities turned to the Russian private military company precisely because of the significant reduction of the French military forces that were to fight terrorists in Kidal, in the north of the country. He stressed that the Malian government recognized by all is able to choose partners who will provide security services on a legitimate basis because the country is independent.
“At the government level, Russia contributes to Mali’s military defence capabilities,” Lavrov said, referring to the provision of technical military equipment. He added: “it would be better to synchronize the action of the European Union and Russia in the fight against terrorism, not only in Mali but also in the Sahel and Sahara region”.
Statements on the possible signing of an agreement between Bamako and Wagner on the provision of security and training services to the army were rejected by the French MFA, the Ministry of the Armed Forces and ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) controlled from Paris. They said that they were not ready to cooperate with the elements of the Russian private company in the fight against terrorists in the region, without giving specific reasons.
International experts note that the decision of the Malian government to turn to a new partner shows the further emancipation of the young nation from its former colonial ruler. According to military observers, the Africa national armies are not yet strong enough to confront money-backed western powers and terrorist organizations networks, supported from the outside. In this asymmetrical situation, the only effective strategy is to reach a power balance through creating new efficient partnerships based on mutual respect and common vision. Russia, a country with no colonial past and a strong position on the global scene turn out to be a perfect partner for the states that break free of the neocolonial exploitation by certain Western states.