Mali is receiving more warplanes and helicopters from Russia, its main military and political ally. It is the last of a series of deliveries after others in March and August 2022. The African country would have incorporated Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group in its fight against jihadist armed groups.
Wagner group mercenaries in the anti-jihadist fight
“The will to modernize and equip our army is not only linked to a crisis, but rather responds to a fundamental need to guarantee the security of the population, declared the Malian Defense Minister at a ceremony attended by the head of Mali junta Colonel Assimi Goita and Russian Ambassador Igor Gromyko at Bamako’s Modibo-Keïta International Airport.
The cargo included Sukhoi attack planes and Soviet-designed helicopters for transporting troops and weapons for the defense of ground positions.
“Mali’s defense and security forces now command respect”
Colonel Sadio Camara, Defense Minister, added that “Mali’s defense and security forces now command respect and present a positive image of the country to all partners.”
France does not look favorably on this rapprochement between Russia and Mali, and the delivery of these weapons is a sensitive matter, which is reviving historical tensions between Paris and Moscow.
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