Norway accuses Russia of supporting mercenaries in Mali – Dagsavisen

Canada, Germany, the UK, Sweden and Denmark are among other countries that have signed statement as announced by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

“We recognize the involvement of the Russian government in providing material support for the deployment of the Wagner group in Mali and call on Russia to return to responsible and constructive behavior in the region,” he said.

The deployment can only contribute to worsening the security situation in West Africa, worsening the human rights situation in Mali and threatening peace and reconciliation agreements in the country, further stated in a statement from 15 countries, which also criticized Mali. government to invite mercenaries to the country.

Very regrettable

– It is regrettable that Mali’s transitional government has decided to involve security forces from the Wagner group, series Secretary of State Eivind Vad Petersson (Labor Party) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

– The presence of the Wagner Group in Mali will have a negative impact on the security situation there. A more unstable security situation will again exacerbate the humanitarian situation in one of Africa’s most troubled and impoverished countries. It could also have a negative ripple effect on the peace process in the country and create challenges for efforts under the auspices of the United Nations and others contributing to stabilization in Mali, he said.

Norway has joined the sanctions adopted by the EU against the Wagner Group on 13 December. These sanctions are concrete and are a targeted response to the Wagner group’s human rights abuses, according to Vad Petersson.

Norway’s Contribution

Norway currently has a small troop contribution in the UN peacekeeping force (Minusma) in Mali. Solberg’s government decided in July that Norway should also send military contributions to the European Takuba forces in the country, but this has not happened.

“Pending agreement with the Malian authorities on an agreement that provides adequate legal protection for Norwegian personnel, Norwegian contributions have not yet been deployed,” communications adviser Lars Gjemble at the Ministry of Defense informed. Defense Forum earlier this week.

Discouraged

The presence of Russian mercenaries was a contributing factor to the non-contribution of Norwegian troops.

– Norway, along with other countries participating in Takuba’s cooperation, have advised Malian authorities not to cooperate with the Wagner group, according to Gjemble.

– There is a close dialogue between the participating countries in Takuba, but also more broadly internationally, on how to deal with the possible presence of this Russian security company in the most coordinated way, he said.

militant Islamist

The political situation in Mali has been chaotic since rebel groups toppled the then president in a military coup in 2012.

Islamist militants took advantage of the emerging power vacuum, but the French-clad intervention repelled them.

Armed groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State (IS) currently control large swathes of the country, killing thousands and fleeing hundreds of thousands.

The insurgency has also spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Two military coups

Mali has experienced two military coups in just one year. In August last year, the military junta led by 38-year-old Colonel Assimi Goïta seized power and toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Following strong international reaction, the coup plotters appointed a civilian transitional government. Bah N’Daw was appointed president, while Moctar Ouane became prime minister.

The plan was for the transitional government to sit for 18 months, but Goïta did not like the reforms they were launching and staged a new coup in May. N’Daw and Ouane were imprisoned, and then the colonel himself was proclaimed president.

Seriously worried

– Norway is very concerned about the political developments as well as the humanitarian situation and the security situation in Mali, said Vad Petersson.

– Norway, together with the international community, has expressed clear hope that the transitional regime will carry out the planned elections in accordance with the transitional charter and demands of the Organization of West African Cooperation (Ecowas), he said.

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