France criticises deal bringing Russian mercenaries into Mali

France criticises deal bringing Russian mercenaries into Mali

PARIS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - France's foreign minister on Tuesday criticised plans that would bring Russian mercenaries into Mali, saying such a move was "incompatible" with the French military presence in its former colony. Diplomatic and security sources have told Reuters that a deal is close between the Russian private military contractor the Wagner Group and Mali's ruling junta for the mercenaries to train the Malian military and provide protection for senior officials. Asked by lawmakers about the report, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: "Wagner is a militia which has shown itself in the past in Syria and Central African Republic to have carried out abuses and all sorts of violations that do not correspond with any solution and so it is incompatible with our presence." "I am saying …
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