MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The government of Mali debunked the accusations made by Canada and a number of European countries about the alleged deployment of a private military corporation (PMC) in the country in a statement, published on the government’s official Facebook account.
According to the statement, the government of the Republic of Mali "officially rejects these groundless accusations and demands proof from independent sources." The government noted that it "participates only in an inter-state partnership with the Russian Federation, its historic partner," asking to "judge it by actions, not rumors." The "Wagner" PMC is not mentioned in the statement.
On September 25, Russian Foreign Minister disclosed that Mali contacted a Russian private military contractor for aid in combating terrorism, adding that Moscow is not involved in this deal.
In early October, French Armed Forces General Staff spokesman Colonel Pascal Ianni stated that French special operations units participating in the counter-terrorism operation in Sahel found no signs of Wagner’s presence in the region. Ianni also noted that he is unaware whether Mali made a deal with Wagner or not.
Since August 2020, Mali suffered two military coups. The first took place on August 18, 2020, and resulted in President Boubakar Keita being deposed. A group of military officers, led by Colonel Assimi Goita appointed Ba Ndao as the interim president. However, on May 26, the same group of military officers deposed him; meanwhile, the Constitutional Court of the republic appointed Goita as the interim head of state.