Shadow of Russia's Wagner Group looms large over post-coup Mali

REPORTERS
REPORTERS © FRANCE 24

Colonel Assimi Goïta, who took power in Mali in an August 2020 coup, has been slow to put in place a promised transition to civilian rule. Now under international sanctions, the country has been gripped by nationalist and pan-African fever for several weeks. Relations with former colonial power France, which has deployed thousands of soldiers as part of an anti-jihadist force for nearly a decade, are strained to the point that Mali recently expelled the French ambassador. Meanwhile, the ruling junta in Bamako is welcoming new allies: members of the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group. Their presence has already been reported in certain areas of the country.