BAMAKO – A cargo plane delivered four helicopters, weapons and ammunition to Mali from Russia late Thursday night, Malia’s interim defense minister Sadio Kamara said.
He said Mali had bought the helicopters and agreed in a December 2020 agreement that ISIS would support their armed forces in their fight against French, European and UN troops fighting the terrorist group and al Qaeda-linked insurgents.
He told local media in Tarmac after the plane landed in the capital Bamako that Mali had bought the helicopter from the Russian Federation, with which Mali has always maintained a very fruitful partnership. Russia.
The delivery comes at a time of strained relations between Mali and its main military partner France when Bamako could hire Russian mercenaries to transform its 5,000-strong counter-terrorism mission in the region.
Diplomatic and security sources told Reuters that Mali’s year-old military junta was close to recruiting the Russian Wagner group, and that France had launched a diplomatic campaign to thwart it, saying such measures were inconsistent with France’s continued presence.
Meanwhile, Mali’s prime minister accused Paris of abandoning Bamako in a speech to the United Nations on Saturday.
In response to the allegations for the first time, President Emanuel Macron on Thursday questioned the legitimacy of the Malian authorities overseeing changes in the election after two coups for more than a year.
What the Prime Minister of Malia has said is unacceptable. It’s a shame. And it is a disgrace that is not even the government, ”he told Radio France International.
Reuters could not reach Wagner’s group for comment.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times