Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga once again deplored France’s gradual withdrawal from his country, where the terrorist threat remains. He also denied the existence of discussions between Bamako and the Russian private company Wagner.
Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga persists in denouncing an “abandonment in full flight” of France, after the decision of Paris to withdraw from Mali the Barkhane force, unable according to him to stop the rise of terrorism in the country. A similar declaration had generated renewed tensions between Paris and Bamako.
While Al-Qaeda multiplies its attacks, our main ally, at least the one we believed to be, decides to leave its area of influence to concentrate on the three borders. Isn’t it abandonment in mid-flight
“The facts are that Mali asked France to help it destroy terrorism and recover all of its territory. Almost nine years later, what do we see? Terrorism that was confined to Kidal [bastion des rebelles touaregs] has extended to 80% of our territory, ”he said in an interview published on October 18 by The World Africa.
Barkhane decided to “focus on Liptako”, in eastern Mali, where the EIGS (Islamic State in the Great Sahara) is active, while “the most dangerous group for the Malian state is the GSIM [Groupe de soutien à l’islam et aux musulmans, proche d’Al-Qaïda]In the North, he also regretted.
“While Al-Qaeda is increasing its attacks, our main ally, at least the one we thought we were, decides to leave its area of influence to concentrate on the three borders. Isn’t this abandonment in mid-flight? We are looking for solutions, ”he insisted.
Similar remarks by Choguel Kokalla Maïga made recently at the United Nations had been strongly condemned by France. “It’s a shame”, thundered President Emmanuel Macron.
The discussions between the Malian authorities and Wagner? Rumors”
Faced with this situation, the Malian government, which “has understood that if it relies on only one partner, […] can be abandoned at any time, [en] is looking for others ”, explained the Prime Minister, denying however discussions with the Russian private company Wagner, which he qualified as“ rumors ”.
The French media are talking about it. I don’t know of Wagner. These are rumors, at this point
Faced with this situation, the Malian government does not exclude the search for other partners. As such, he took the opportunity to deny discussions with the private Russian company Wagner, which he described as “rumors”. “The day when [le Mali conclura] agreements with any country whatsoever, we will make them public, ”he said. Until then, he urges not to make “trial of intent” to the Malian government.
The Russian authorities, who have always denied any link with the famous private security company, repeated on September 15 that they did not foresee any negotiations regarding the establishment of a military presence in the Sahelian country: “There is no has no representative of the Russian armed forces there […] and no official negotiations are underway, ”Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov recalled. The latter specified that Moscow had “contacts in the military field with many countries, including those located on the African continent”.
What we have is an agreement with the Russian state. In this context, we buy military equipment
Accused of maintaining the vagueness on this issue and its possible consequences on Mali’s international relations, Choguel Kokalla Maïga was also categorical here. Mali has “not signed an agreement with anyone”, and the international pressure that his country could undergo would be “irrelevant” according to him.
“What we have is an agreement with the Russian state [conclu en juin 2019]. In this context, we buy military equipment – we received some recently – and we ask Russian instructors to train our soldiers, ”Choguel Kokalla Maïga explained. “We are in discussion with the Russian state, we are not hiding it. We are looking for all the means and the support of all the States which could help us to secure our people ”, he added.
Choguel Kokalla Maïga also warned that the calendar of the presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for February 27, 2022, should not be respected, another point of friction between part of the international community and this Malian government resulting from a coup. Military state. “A few weeks or a few months later, it’s not the end of the world for a country in crisis for ten years,” he said.