(ANSA) – Rome, December 24 – The condemnation of the deployment of Russian mercenaries in Mali came in a joint statement from Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway. Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Great Britain, as reported by the BBC. The countries said such a deployment could “further deteriorate the security situation in West Africa”, combat jihadist groups and “threaten the peace and reconciliation agreement” in Mali.
European countries and Canada have accused Russia of providing material support to Wagner’s mercenaries, but the Kremlin denies any connection with the private paramilitary company. And the European Union recently imposed sanctions on the Wagner Group, accusing it of involvement in serious human rights violations.
The countries also said they “strongly deplore” the financial authorities’ choice to use “already scarce public funds” to pay foreign mercenaries’ salaries rather than support the national army. France – which considers Mali a former colony – recently withdrew from its last base in the north of the country in a broader operation to reduce its battalion of soldiers against Islamists in the Sahel. (Dealing).
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