The military junta that is currently in power in Mali, Western Africa has been negotiating with the anonymous respesentatives from Russia, asking to send in the Russian mercenaries from the Wagner private military group (PMC). Foreign media, including DW and The Moscow Times report that, citing German and French sources.
On September 15, German diplomat Maria Adebahr spoke to the press in Berlin. She expressed Foreign Ministry's worries over possible cooperation between the junta in Mali and mercenaries from Russia. Then, a speaker of the German Defense Ministry said that if Russian PMC fighters arrive in Bamako (the capital city of Mali), Berlin will discuss "consequences and possible actions together with partners in European and international format". Later, Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer left a post on her Twitter, claiming that Berlin would have the Bundeswehr forces evacuated from the country if Russian mercenaries come there. She added that the deal between Moscow and Bamako "doubts Bundeswehr's mandate in MINUSMA and EUTM missions", and the Ministry will have "to make conclusions, together with Bundeswehr".
France was the first to publicly claim that there are negotiations between Mali and Russia. On September 14, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that French troops will be withdrawn from Mali if the Wagner fighters come there. Their presence is "incompatible with our presence", he stressed during the conversation with French MPs.
On September 13, Reuters cited diplomatic sources and claimed that the junta in Mali is close to striking a deal with Russia; according to it, the Wagner PMC fighters are going to train the Armed Forces of Mali and protect the country leaders. The sum of the contract made approximately 10.8 million dollars every month.
A military coup occurred in Mali in May 2020. The military arrested top statesmen, and the Constitutional Court announced that Colonel Assimi Goïta would be acting as temporary president.