The Malian prime minister has accused France of abandoning his conflict-torn country as most troops prepare to leave, following its decision to withdraw most of its forces this year.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Choguel Kokalla Maiga said his government is justified in “seeking other partners”.
That is an apparent reference to Mali asking a private Russian military contractor, which has been linked to the Kremlin.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed Mali had requested the assistance of a Russian military contractor. However, he did not mention the Wagner Group, a private Russian contractor.
He also defended the move, which he said had nothing to do with his government.
Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey reports from the UN headquarters in New York.
– Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish/
– Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera/
– Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/
#Mali #Russia #WagnerGroup