France is worried in high places of discussions between Bamako and the Russian private military company Wagner, which could lead to the deployment of a thousand Russian paramilitaries in Mali, according to corroborating sources.
The arrival of these troops could call into question France’s commitment in Mali, where its soldiers have been fighting jihadist groups for eight years.
According to a French source familiar with the matter, the junta in power in Bamako is studying the possibility of concluding a contract with Wagner for the deployment of a thousand Russian paramilitaries in Mali to train its armed forces (FAMa) and ensure the protection of the leaders.
A West African security source, for his part, told AFP that Wagner was negotiating to arrive in force in Mali, for money and with mining counterparts. These sources confirmed information revealed by Reuters.