The Russian mercernaries of the Wagner group, a sensitive subject between Paris and Bamako

September 22, 2021 by archyde

The announcement of an agreement between the Malian transitional government and the Russian paramilitary group worries France, which is militarily involved there. The question creates tensions between the two countries, allies in the fight against terrorism, says the press review of RFI.

The tension is still very high about the possible arrival in Mali of the mercenaries of the Russian group Wagner. France judges this Russian presence “incompatible” with the European presence. The Malian government, for its part, says it wants to have “Of a plan B”, due to the French military redeployment.

And in the Malian press, the criticisms continue to fuse in the direction of Paris. Thereby, for the site Morning Info :

France, accustomed to letters of seal, can only accept one of its former colonies, Mali, for which more than 50 of its soldiers have died in operation since 2013, abandons the duty of recognition ad vitam aeternam towards it. to imagine making a pact with Putin’s Russia via the Wagner company. For this France, champion of human rights and country of freedom, sovereign Mali is not free to contract with whomever it wants for its security and defense. No, he should always take his orders from her! ”

France, “invader, oppressor, exploiter…”

Morning raise his tone too, claiming that “France has not stopped its neocolonialist policy in Mali” :

She compromised herself through her clumsy conduct by considering Mali as a vassal state. It has totally failed in its fight against terrorism and the reconstruction of the Malian army. Worse, her deal with the jihadist movements on the ground has finished exposing her. In the end, France, which was perceived as a savior, suddenly became an invader, an oppressor, savagely abusing our mineral resources without the knowledge of the authorities. ”

The agreement in gestation between Mali and the Wagner group therefore marks “A decisive turning point in the reconquest of the north of the country”, the newspaper continues, and the end “Of the French lie”.

The risks of the Wagner forces slipping

The Senegalese daily Investigation asked several specialists about the Wagner group, these “Mercenaries who make France tremble”. For Mouhamadou Lamine Bara Lo, doctor in political science and specialist in security issues, “I put it together [au pouvoir au Mali] wants an extension of the transition; what Paris is opposed to ”. The Russian mercenaries card could therefore be used as a “A means of pressure on France and on other international organizations”.

However, he continues, “The arrival of these Russian mercenaries risks posing problems of engagement and coordination with international forces (United Nations, Barkhane force and European Takuba)”. These paramilitaries are not “very careful about human rights issues and the laws governing war”, underlines the specialist:

The Wagner group is accused in the Central African Republic of numerous abuses against civilians. ”

Colonel Mamadou Samb, director of training at the Dakar Center for Advanced Defense and Security Studies, believes that “The use of the Russian private security group could allow the Malian security forces to become more effective against the jihadists”. Most “The risk of slippages and blunders against the civilian populations exists”. Malian officials will have to ensure their own control over the Wagner group’s rules of engagement.

The Russian mercernaries of the Wagner group, a sensitive subject between Paris and Bamako

Frédéric Couteau


Radio France internationale (RFI) is a French news radio station broadcast in 150 countries. Its antenna is available in French and in 13 other languages (English, Cambodian, Chinese, Spanish, Hausa, Kiswahili, Mandingo, Persian,


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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my