MALI’S government has denied any deployment of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group following charges by a group of 15 Western powers involved in the fight against militants in the Sahel region.
The government ‘gives a formal denial to these baseless allegations’ of ‘an alleged deployment of elements from a private security company in Mali,’ it said in a statement released late Friday.
Mali’s government ‘demands that proof be brought to it by independent sources’ and said ‘Russian trainers’ were in Mali as part of strengthening the operational capacity of the national defence and security forces.
Bamako was ‘only involved in a state-to-state partnership with the Russian Federation, its historical partner.’ said the statement signed by government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga.
A group of 15 Western powers on Thursday expressed anger that Russian mercenaries working for the controversial Wagner group had started to deploy in Mali, accusing Moscow of providing material backing for the fighters.