West pressures Mali over Wagner Group involvement

West pressures Mali over Wagner Group involvement
Image: Reuters

Western governments expressed concern about the actions of the Russian private military contractor Wagner Group in Mali. This was made known at a United Nations human rights conference in Geneva on Tuesday. This includes allegations of complicity in the murder of civilians.

Many countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, and Ukraine, have accused Wagner contractors of providing military assistance to Mali.

Russia and Mali have long contended that Russian personnel in Mali are not mercenaries. They claim they are trainers assisting local forces using Russian-obtained weapons. In 2021, Mali’s rulers took control in a coup. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has said that individual Russian enterprises may lawfully do business in Mali.

As part of the UN’s required review of the country’s human rights record, Canada’s ambassador Patricia Lyn McCullagh voiced concern to the Human Rights Council over the Wagner group’s operations in Mali.

Several countries have asked Mali to conduct an independent investigation into the March 2022 massacre in Moura, central Mali. They claimed hundreds of civilians were allegedly killed by local troops and suspected Russian fighters.

According to the UN, its investigators were denied entry to the site.

According to Russia, no civilians were killed in Moura. Wagner did not respond promptly to our e-mail request for comment.

“We recommend that Mali conduct a credible investigation into human rights violations and abuses committed during security operations conducted with Kremlin-backed Wagner forces in Moura in March 2022 and hold those responsible accountable,” said US Ambassador to the UN Michele Taylor.

Colonel Boubacar Maiga, Mali’s chief of military justice, has acknowledged that an investigation has commenced.

He claimed that access was difficult since Mali was “at war,” but that the government was “determined to bring” the investigation to a successful conclusion while respecting human rights and functioning independently.

Russia’s envoy, Maria Molodtsova, said that “those killed (in Moura) were militants from terrorist groups that had oppressed the population for years.”Military activities “contributed to Moura’s peace and tranquillity,” she said.

Hundreds of people have been slain in Mali over the last decade as al Qaeda and Islamic State-affiliated jihadists have gained control. After being forced back by French forces in 2013, militants now control the majority of the country’s center and north.

After a diplomatic spat with Mali’s military junta, French soldiers withdrew last year as the Wagner Group moved in.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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