France 's Armed Forces Minister arrived in Niger on Sunday as part of a two-day visit to allies in the Sahel region, where French-led military operations against Islamist militants are under threat from Mali 's talks with Russian defense contractors.
BAMAKO (Reuters) - France 's Armed Forces Minister arrived in Mali on Sunday to pressure the military junta to end talks to bring Russian mercenaries into the country and push it to keep a promise to return the country to constitutional order in February. Diplomatic and security sources have told Reuters that Mali 's year-old military junta is close to recruiting the Russian Wagner Group , and France has launched a diplomatic drive to thwart it, saying such an arrangement is 'incompatible' with a continued French presence. But Mali 's junta which seized power in August 2020, has dug in, noting that France has begun scaling down its decade-old operation against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State across the region to include more European countries.
French politicianBAMAKO (Reuters) -France's Armed Forces Minister arrived in Mali on Sunday to pressure the military junta to end talks to bring Russian mercenaries into the country and push it to keep a promise to return the country to constitutional order in February.
Diplomatic and security sources have told Reuters that Mali's year-old military junta is close to recruiting the Russian Wagner Group, and France has launched a diplomatic drive to thwart it, saying such an arrangement is "incompatible" with a continued French presence.
West Africa's main political bloc, ECOWAS, as well as other allies combating militants in the Sahel region, have also expressed concerns over the potential deal.But Mali's junta which seized power in August 2020, has dug in, noting that France has begun scaling down its decade-old operation against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State across the region to include more European countries. headtopics.com
On Sunday, Mali's foreign ministry called objections from neighbour Niger to the prospect of a deal with Wagner "unacceptable, unfriendly and condescending".The visit by Florence Parly to Mali is the highest-level trip by French officials since the talks with Wagner emerged.
An official from the French Armed Forces Ministry told reporters ahead of the visit that Parly would stress "the heavy consequences if this decision were to be taken by the Malian authorities."She would also underscore the importance of keeping to the calendar for the transition to democracy leading to elections in February 2022, the official said.
French officials describe the relationship with the junta as "complicated", although it still relies on Paris for counter-terrorism operations.Paris said on Thursday it had killed the leader of Islamic State in Western Sahara in northern Mali.
Parly earlier on Sunday was in Niger to lay out plans to reshape its operations in the region.The French army started redeploying troops from its bases in Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu in northern Mali at the start of the month, French army sources have said. headtopics.com
Story continuesFrance wants to complete the redeployment by January. It is reducing its contingent to 2,500-3,000 from about 5,000, moving more assets to Niger, and encouraging other European special forces to work alongside local forces.The European force in the Sahel so far comprises about 600 troops from nine countries.
(Reporting by John Irish in Paris; Editing by Bate Felix, Kevin Liffey and Daniel Wallis)Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
Recommended StoriesThousands march for LGBTQ+ rights in Ukraine despite some oppositionThousands of people including soldiers and diplomats marched peacefully through the Ukrainian capital on Sunday in an annual gay pride parade despite some opposition to an event called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers said about 7,000 attended the Equality March this year, compared to 8,000 in 2019, which saw the biggest turnout since the event was initiated a decade ago despite opposition from religious and nationalist groups. Homophobia is widespread in Ukraine, according to a survey by the sociological group "Rating" published in August, which said 47% of respondents had a negative view of the LGBTQ+ community.
8h ago'Quad' countries to agree on secure microchip supply chains-mediaLeaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia will agree to take steps to build secure semiconductor supply chains when they meet in Washington next week, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday, citing a draft of the joint statement. U.S. President Joe Biden will host a first in-person summit of leaders of the "Quad" countries, which have sought to boost co-operation to push back against China's growing assertiveness. The draft says that in order to create robust supply chains, the four countries will ascertain their semiconductor supply capacities and identify vulnerability, the Nikkei said, without unveiling how it had obtained the document. headtopics.comRead more: Yahoo News »
Cutest baby animals from around the world
Absolutely adorable baby animals! Read more >>
Mali says it can seek military help from anyone, despite French concern Mali has the right to seek military support from whoever it wants, the prime minister said, after France and other foreign powers expressed alarm at a report that Bamako was approaching Russian mercenaries for assistance.
France Recalls Ambassadors To US, Australia Over Sub DealThe French Foreign Minister said Australia's cancellation of a big contract to buy French conventional submarines is “unacceptable behavior.” This statement reminds us what war is about: business 😔 the french submarine company overpromised on local industry involvement and costs Look, we just cancelled the insane diesel versions of the nuclear models. We'll pay, just don't get all pissy!
France recalls envoys in U.S, Australia over submarine deal - statement France said on Friday it had decided to recall its ambassadors in the United States and Australia for consultations after Australia struck a deal with the United States and Britain which ended a $40 billion French-designed submarine deal. French has lost touch of reality. Pacific is not within your reach. Lol funny Macron. Cry cry baby Macron.
Opinion | Yes, the U.S. really did just stab France in the backBiden's snub raises the question of whether the U.S. and Europe have a future together — at least one in which America can be relied upon as a constant partner. THINK France always stabed by US since Louis XVI.😂 Didn't AUS cancel the sub contract though? THINK Macron thought all along that Trump was the backstabber.
France recalls ambassadors to US and Australia in response to AUKUS nuclear submarine pact France has recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia in response to a pact signed by the two countries along with the United Kingdom that they referred to as a stab in the back. Democratic Party's double standard
France recalls its ambassadors to U.S., Australia over submarine dispute France announces that it is recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after the longtime ally that felt its Indo-Pacific interests had been undermined by a new pact by the Biden administration. ...but not the UK? I'm confused, because the UK is also part of this... Boy Biden is on fire today! empty words?