The UK and international partners have issued a statement condemning the decision to deploy mercenary troops from the Wagner Group in Mali.

The Wagner Group is a Russian mercenary organisation accused of committing human rights abuses.

The following is a joint statement from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom:

“We, the international partners committed to supporting Mali and its people in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace and stability and combat terrorism, firmly condemn the deployment of mercenary troops on Malian territory. This deployment can only further deteriorate the security situation in West Africa, lead to an aggravation of the Human Rights situation in Mali, threaten the Agreement for peace and reconciliation in Mali resulting from the Algiers process, and hamper the efforts of the international community to ensure the protection of civilians and to provide support to the Malian armed forces.

We deeply regret the choice of the Malian transitional authorities to use already scarce public funds to pay foreign mercenaries instead of supporting the Malian Armed Forces and public services to the benefit of the Malian people.

We are aware of the involvement of the Russian Federation government in providing material support to the deployment of the Wagner group in Mali and call on Russia to revert to a responsible and constructive behaviour in the region.

We recall ECOWAS decisions and their concern about the risk of instability for the region should private security companies deploy in Mali, (sixtieth ordinary session in Abuja, 12 December 2021). We also recall the adoption by the European Union of a set of restrictive measures against the Wagner group itself, and against 8 associated individuals and 3 entities connected to it (Foreign Affairs Council on 13 December 2021) involved in serious human rights abuses, including torture and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings, or in destabilizing activities in some of the countries they operate in.

We will not give up our efforts to address the needs of the Malian population. In line with the objectives of the international Coalition for the Sahel, we reaffirm our commitment to continuing efforts to protect civilians, to support the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and help build long-term stability by supporting sustainable development, respect for human rights and the deployment of public services. We will continue to closely follow and assess the situation.

We urge the Malian transitional authorities to undertake reforms and to restore constitutional order, through the timely preparation and organization of elections, as they have committed to before the Malian people, ECOWAS and the international community. We fully support recent decisions by ECOWAS in that regard.”

What is Britain doing in Mali?

The British contingent to the United Nations mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been operational now for ten months.

In that time, the 250-strong Task Group have been busy disrupting insurgent activity across the open eastern Malian plains, whilst reassuring the local population, and crucially enabling humanitarian relief and assistance to an area ravaged by violent Islamic State-inspired terrorism since before 2015.

Despatches from Mali – British troops assist war crimes investigation

You can read more here.

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Jacko
Jacko
26 days ago

Oh dear! This has the potential to go very badly indeed.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
26 days ago

The Russians are moving into Africa as they have seen how easy the Chinese have swept through the continent taking anything they can lay there hands on and paying for it with weapons, the Russians have now seen a nesh market in going back to the 60’s and supplying mercenary forces for hire to help prop up failing governments.

James Fennell
James Fennell
26 days ago

And this is why we need Rangers – ‘constant competition’

Paul.P
Paul.P
26 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Yeah, the Rangers is the best answer. If you were a right minded president of somewhere like Mali and you were offered a choice of Russian mercenaries, African and Chinese peacekeepers, French ‘colonials’ ( with or without UK Chinooks) or UK Rangers training up and working with your own forces one would hope you would choose the UK Rangers, especially if there was some land rovers or patrol vehicles thrown in. It would hopefully come down to national pride other things being equal.

Last edited 26 days ago by Paul.P
Farouk
Farouk
26 days ago

Not a Moscow appologist, but it would help to mention that France stated in June this year that it was going to cut its troops in Mali by 5000 , this withdrawl began late Oct and that the Military junta which took power last year has simply accepted a (so called) hand of friendship from Russia which saw them gifted 4 Mil 17I along with a raft of other Miltary equipment and lets be honest, Military dictators in this part of the world love things for free.

Jack
Jack
26 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

If your drowning, you’ll gladly accept and appreciate anybody’s helping hand.

Dave12
Dave12
26 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Yet you Russian trolls complain about the west giving weapon supplies to the Ukraine silly ivan

MikeB1947
MikeB1947
26 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

I wonder what the countries listed above would say if Russia offered to deploy their Special Operations Forces instead of Wagner?

Paul.P
Paul.P
26 days ago

Very tricky…
Scholardhip question…rank the following in order of evilness.
a) Islamic terrorists
b) Russian mercenaries
c) the leaders of the Mali government

Answers on a postcard..
Bonus question…
Anyone see what we can get out of this state of affairs?
Happy Christmas!

Dave12
Dave12
26 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Sorry mis read your comment edited.

Last edited 26 days ago by Dave12
Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

To be honest Paul, it’s not about good or evil, it’s about do we have influence or do our geopolitical competitors.

Paul.P
Paul.P
26 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Indeed, Putin is intent on weakening the West by any means short of open warfare. Western freedoms and democracy are under attack on several fronts, including within the United States.

Frank62
Frank62
26 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Our military is so small now we don’t have a lot of options when wishing to support others. Good we have a small presence there.

Can we wonder why so many want to flee to Europe with dictators & Islamic terrorists at home?

Jonathan
Jonathan
25 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

I know frank, what we need to remember above anything else is being born in a western democracy from the mid 20c onward means your one of the wealthiest ( in the total sense of all opportunities and resources) and luckiest human beings who ever lived.

Jack
Jack
26 days ago

The interim government of Mali have invited them in ? So what is the problem ? Were the US, UK etc invited into Syria ? The hypocrisy and lack of self awareness is galling.

Paul.P
Paul.P
26 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Is it jealousy?

Dave12
Dave12
26 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Ok Ivan ,we in the west know why Russia was invited to Syria who spent most their time carpet bombing Aleppo to prop up assad and keep its port there whilst doing minimal actions against IS and in some cases running away from them.

Airborne
Airborne
26 days ago
Reply to  Dave12

Boom and there goes Jacks very weak comment straight down the drain! Spot on Dave!

Airborne
Airborne
26 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Not really as Wagner group, while full of ex and (still serving) Russkie mil, they adhere to no rules of conflict and are a bunch of nasty gangster wannabes! If the Mali head shed Governments have taken decent backhanders to allow them in (as France is slowly pulling out) it doesn’t bode well for the regions stability.

John Clark
John Clark
24 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Well said Airborne, hence a good reason not to find ourselves in country, with thousands of troops and semi permanent bases.

We have taken a sensible measured approach, with a small support, recon and SF element ( I should imagine a half squadron from 22 is probably deployed in rotation) in a flexible package that can be quietly and quickly removed if needed.

We take our lead from the French here, they draw down, we bug out, pick our battles mate….

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
26 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Because to the Malian people any actions and human rights abuse by the Wagner Group will be associated to us too, they won’t distinguish which means we are not in control of our own reputation. That plus every chance of conflict between forces and these renegades, no doubt encouraged by Russia as Mali is a pawn to them, means if we aren’t very careful a mini war could break out. We will have to not only be very careful but be prepared to get out if things really sink down a black hole of misery. Sadly dictators are on the… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
24 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Since when did Assad gain a mandate to murder his own people? Keeping murderous dictators off the streets is a noble cause. But perhaps you don’t think democracy and basic human rights have improved the lot of humanmankind? If that is your position then you are probably an enemy of the West.

Last edited 24 days ago by James Fennell
Johan
Johan
26 days ago

UK pull out of Mali NOW, leave this to the French to DUCK UP as when it does, they will Blame the UK for not having enough XYZ

Rob
Rob
26 days ago

Russia, especially Putin’s Russia does maskirovka (the art of deception) as a normal operation of foreign & defence policy. Does anyone seriously think that Wagner aren’t just a deniable front for Spetsnaz? They are in Syria, Ukraine, Libya and now Mali, all Russian targets.

We need western SF to get all over this group as soon as possible.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

You forgot the Central African Republic and the Congo alongside talks with governments of Benin, and about 3 other as yet unnamed states. The West pulls out Russia and China move in.
Putin and Xi are dividing up the Africa now along with inroads in South America.
We have aloud the cancer to spread and multiple if this was a person we would be prepping them for radical surgery not turning a blind eye hoping things get better by them selves.

Dave12
Dave12
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

SAS,SBS would do the job well.

Airborne
Airborne
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

They are, the have a lot of ex Russkie mil, both having left and joined off their own back (recommendations only) others pretty much offered a contract to leave the Russki mil pretty much straight away and start with them and a smattering of still serving SF and tech blokes in support such as Sigs, Arty etc! Bunch of nasty shits!

Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago

The problem is the west thought it was the end of history and every nation would embrace western liberal democracy. Unfortunately this has not happened and like a stunned animal the west started to disengage when things started to smell a bit. The problem is this occurred at the same time as the rise of China and rebirth of Russian Nationalism, they are willing to do anything to gain influence and control areas with important natural resources. The west needs to get over itself, admit it cannot make the whole world in its image and start working to ensure it… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
26 days ago

God bless Mali & Malians. Hired gangsters won’t help. Glad we’re speaking out & providing military muscle in the fight against Islamic terrorists.

Roy
Roy
26 days ago

How long has the West (principally the French) operated in Mali? About a decade it seems? And what has it achieved? So the Malians have turned to the Russians out of exasperation at Western ineffectiveness – which is a pattern if one looks at Afghanistan and Syria. Given that, I am not sure why the West is so surprised (probably because, notwithstanding the usual maudlin press release, it is actually not that surprised). In any case, the Russians may solve this in a nasty way or they may not. But the Malians should probably be aware that nothing the Russians… Read more »

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
25 days ago
Reply to  Roy

FYI the Russians didnt do any better in Afghanistan and still bogged down in Syria with very little to show for.

Jay
Jay
26 days ago

Well they had a hell of a hiding when they tried to attack an outpost in Syria, which happened to have US troops there. Not sure we can mount the same response if they attack friendly troops.

Roy
Roy
26 days ago
Reply to  Jay

True, but the Russians still came out ahead in Syria. The West has shown itself to have little resolve. Lots of rhetoric but little resolve.

Dave12
Dave12
25 days ago
Reply to  Roy

Russia gets the chance to keep its port ,nothing much else there to win unless they wanna try US forces again for the northern oil fields, that did not go well last time.

Roy
Roy
25 days ago
Reply to  Dave12

They are also there for the same reason the West is … prevent jihadism from getting a base where it can be exported to Russia.

Dave12
Dave12
24 days ago
Reply to  Roy

Rubbish Ivan they did little with IS to busy propping up Assad and carpet bombing allepo ,I like your fake Anglo saxons name though Ivan ,Roy lol

Roy
Roy
24 days ago
Reply to  Dave12

“I like your fake Anglo saxons name”??

Where did you learn your Enlgish? Moscow?

Dave12
Dave12
24 days ago
Reply to  Roy

Where have you been so badly misinformed St Petersbourg?

Roy
Roy
24 days ago
Reply to  Dave12

Our exchange is a small sad commentary on the state of discourse in the Western world. There is increasingly little room for analysis. Anyone who disagrees or who presents an alternative point of view is labelled a traitor or perhaps as the agent of a foreign power. It’s a tactic Mao or Stalin would have been well familiar with. The West is increasingly superficial and silly. It’s why we are losing and decaying internally.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
24 days ago
Reply to  Roy

Agree.

dave12
dave12
24 days ago
Reply to  Roy

Really? and yet we in the west have freedom’s like choosing our leaders and freedom of speech like this website for example , freedoms Russia do not have ,I know very well the situation of why Russia in Syria, preventing jihadism is not one of them , you seem very naïve , and of all the problems the west has, its little in comparison to the regimes like Russia, and these divides you talk of is only different opinions, its freedom of speech which we in the west are free to express, although Russia exploits as much as they can… Read more »

dave12
dave12
24 days ago
Reply to  Roy

looking at that link yes lol you are a Russian troll confirmed lol !!! keep up the good work Ivan but its not going to hide the fact Russia is declining hence ex soviet states joined the west .

Roy
Roy
23 days ago
Reply to  dave12

?? … it’s the Foreign Policy Research Institute in the United States … I know that in this day and age it’s just “the thing” to post stuff, label and pretend that you know something. But you really do need to read something first.

dave12
dave12
22 days ago
Reply to  Roy

Sorry I misread the link wrong while trying to multi task on this festive season I would delete it if I could , but I still will standby my other comments because its true.

Last edited 22 days ago by dave12
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
25 days ago

Nothing should surprise us in the crazy world in which we live. There are times when I wonder why we try to help anybody but at Christmas this news somehow seems particularly unpleasant.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
25 days ago

It’s like seeing news reports from the 70’s again … Colonel ‘Mad’ Mike Hoare taking on the Simba’s in the Congo.

Joking aside, this is what happens when you give the ******* Russians an inch!

Ulya
Ulya
25 days ago

Just trying to understand the comments, do you gentlemen have issues because it’s Wagner group or because Russia is there regardless of what military type?

Merry Christmas all so

Airborne
Airborne
25 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

I’ve seen Wagner in action, not impressed, mix of ex and serving, though unofficially, and no adherence to any basic standards of law of armed conflict. I would in fact prefer an obvious and observable Russian presence and not these cave men muppets, cheers Ulya and happy Xmas.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
23 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Hello Ulya, If Russia wants to get involved then send regular troops under a Russian flag and accountable for their actions, I worked in and around Africa for the best part of 20 years and have had to pick up the pieces after “Irregular troops” (terrorists/mercenaries) have finished raping and pillaging there way through an area with no comebacks as they are not accountable to any one.
By sending in his Merc army it shows that Mr Putin has zero respect for anyone or anything other that his ego!!

Ulya
Ulya
22 days ago

Thank you Steven, I agree, it should be Russian army, not private contractor, I do not like them at all after meeting some in Syria about 4 years ago. Do you feel the same about US/UK using private contractor as they have done extensively in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria etc?

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
22 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

The private contractors you talk about are mainly used for PSD taskings/static guards and are held accountable for there actions if they over step their remit. There are however a number of cowboys hiding out in their ranks but they are kept in check by the stringent rules they have to operate under. They are not given a free hand to murder, rape and steel or run state run terrorist organisation.

Florent Pirot
Florent Pirot
25 days ago

Let’s say that some people may question for simple reasons the uranium mining so long as there are depleted uranium stockpiles and it’s possible that because of that the Wagner Group is there to monitor uranium mining. I don’t know. It’s possible.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
23 days ago
Reply to  Florent Pirot

France propped up the Chadian government through the 70’s and 80’s after Gadhafi invaded the North of Chad to capture the Uranium mines so he could develop his Nuclear ambitions. The Chadian army with the French in support eventually kicked him out of chad but now those mines are in the hands of the Chinese who control most of the gold and uranium mines in Northern Chad so It is not a big stretch of the imagination to think that Putin’s Murc’s will be doing the same in Mali.

John Clark
John Clark
23 days ago

Indeed Steven, the old colonial power France has been steadily loosing regional influence to China’s mighty bank balance for some years now.

It’s very clear cut to me, if the Government of Mali let’s a Russian mercenary group in country, then it’s time to pack up and leave.

We have to pick our battles and keeping boots on the ground while that group of animals is ‘officially’ welcomed in, is out of the question.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
23 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hello John, I think a lot of people would agree with you who do not understand the realities of these regions. When we leave a void it will be filled by elements that do not shear the same point of view that we do and in a lot of cases are only there to take what they need at the cost of the local population. I think we would gain a lot more respect from the local population if we took these guys to task by closely monitoring their movements and actions stepping in if needed. If that means direct… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
23 days ago

The problem as I see it Steven, is the provisional Government has invited the Russians in …. Well they can’t have it both ways, it appears they want their cake and eat it. Like I said, we take our lead from our French colleagues on this one, as we are very much in support of their mission. A UK separate mission to monitor and shadow the Russians wouldn’t be welcomed by Mali, a dangerous escalation in already deteriorating Western / Russian relations, it would be outside the UN mandate and likely lead to an increase of our involvement generally. The… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
23 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

We have well documented evidence of the Northern Iraq being decimated and the people being exterminated by the I.S. but we stood by and done nothing. We have documented evidence of people using chemical weapons on our own doorstep but we do nothing. We have documented evidence of foriegn agents blowing up facilities in mainland Europe but we do nothing, we have documented evidence of countries losing there own cost line to foriegn powers yet we do nothing. We can monitor all this and more but it takes people on the ground to step up and stop this from happening.… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
23 days ago

I see what you are saying Stephen, to a degree I agree with you, but we are powerless to really influence events in Mali, without a major UK escalation.

We don’t have the will to embark on such an operation and unfortunately, I feel it would end up being a fools errand on behalf of a typically corrupt regional Government that would likely just stab us in the back.

We would eventually end up withdrawing, with little to nothing accomplished, but a politically unacceptable flow of casualties.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
23 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

You are right John, it would be politically unacceptable, but I believe that we in the West have become blinkered by a steady stream of wokeisum over the last 10 or so years, to a point that we are incapable of doing any thing. We will pull out of Mali we will let the Russians take the Ukraine, the Chinese take Taiwan and the Iranians develop their nuclear bomb. Then when we do finally wake up to what is going on it will be to late to do any thing.

AlexS
AlexS
25 days ago

The obsession with Russia to divert the attentions continues.

James Fennell
James Fennell
24 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Seems like it’s Russia occupying parts of Georgia and Ukraine and threatening to grab more, or am I living in a parallel universe?

Last edited 24 days ago by James Fennell
Paul
Paul
16 days ago

I can understand the Mali government’s position France removes 5000 troops and their support so Wagner step’s in and let’s face it when fighting Isis you need ruthless groups who will get the job done.
Getting them to leave after might be more difficult.