In his speech, the Malian Defense Minister, Sadio Camara, one of the strong men of the regime, praised the
win-win partnership with the Russian Federation during an official ceremony in the presence of Russian diplomats and Colonel Assimi Goïta, the Malian transitional president.
The colonels, who took power by force in August 2020 in this country in the midst of security turmoil, have decided to separate from the old French ally engaged militarily against the jihadists since 2013 and to vigorously relaunch cooperation with Russia.
Russia had already delivered several combat helicopters and weapons in March. Mali has welcomed in large numbers what the junta presents as Russian instructors.
Western partners denounce for their part the use of the junta to the services of the private Russian security company Wagner, the decried actions. The junta denies it and says it is a former partnership with the Russian army.
Russia had admitted in May a presence of Wagner in Mali
on a commercial basis.
I must say that today’s ceremony is historic, as much by the nature, the quality as by the volume of what you are handing over to us, of which we will only present a part here, the rest being of course engaged in operation at the time of this ceremonysaid Mr. Camara.
We are consolidating our reconnaissance and attack capability with L39 and Sukhoi 25 fighter jets, which are added to the Super Tucano and other aircraft already in use. As well as the Mi24P type attack helicopters, which are added to the Mi35 and the Mi24 already deliveredhe added.
No information has been made public regarding the conditions for acquiring the equipment.
Mali has been in turmoil since 2012. The jihadist spread, initially confined to the north of the country, has spread to central and southern Mali, as well as to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Bamako was also sanctioned for six months by its West African neighbors for not having respected its electoral commitments. These economic and financial sanctions, which have had a considerable effect on the economy, were lifted at the beginning of July after the presentation of an electoral calendar fixing the next presidential election in 2024.
On Tuesday, Mali announced that it had raised 277 billion CFA francs (some C$552 million) from investors in the sub-regional market of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).