Mali welcomes “advances” in security with help from Russia

The head of diplomacy of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, welcomed on Wednesday February 28 “considerable progress” in the field of security for his country, achieved according to him thanks to controversial aid from Russia

Mali welcomes “advances” in security with help from Russia

The head of diplomacy of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, welcomed on Wednesday February 28 “considerable progress” in the field of security for his country, achieved according to him thanks to controversial aid from Russia. Mr. Diop met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday, reiterating “the commitment of the highest Malian authorities to strengthen the strategic bilateral relationship between Russia and Mali.”

“This strategic bilateral relationship has enabled considerable progress, particularly in the area of ​​security,” he underlined, citing in particular the capture by the Malian army of the town of Kidal, a bastion of the independence demand and a challenge for major sovereignty for the central State.

Predominantly Tuareg rebel groups lost control of several localities in northern Mali at the end of 2023 after an offensive by the Malian army which culminated in the capture of Kidal. “We must continue and strengthen this military cooperation with Russia, but also with other partners such as China and Turkey,” said Mr. Diop during a press conference following his meeting with Ms. .Lavrov.

Russia “keeps its commitments to Mali”

“Military and military-technical cooperation is taking place actively” between Russia and Mali, confirmed the head of Russian diplomacy. “We see that Mali's defensive capabilities are strengthening thanks to the work of our instructors, the training of Malian soldiers in Russia and thanks to the deliveries of Russian [military] equipment,” assured Sergei Lavrov.

Mali also appreciates "Russia's lucid reading of the situation in the region", argued the head of Malian diplomacy, accompanied to Moscow by the country's defense minister. He thanked Russia “which is keeping its commitments to Mali”, particularly on the provision of humanitarian and food aid, an aspect that Moscow “will absolutely continue”, according to Mr. Lavrov.

The military in power in Mali initially pushed the French anti-jihadist force “Barkhane” in 2022, then the UN mission at the end of 2023. The country has turned politically and militarily towards Russia, which is seeking in recent years to strengthen its relations with Africa. In July 2023, during a Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin also announced that Russia would deliver tens of thousands of tons of free grain to six African countries, including Mali.