Internal notes from the Malian army, exhumed, Wednesday, May 4, by the Guardianconfirm that Russian mercenaries from Wagner were patrolling with the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa), at the end of March, during “counter-terrorist operation” in the predominantly Fulani village of Moura (centre). 300 to 350 men had been tortured there, then executed. They also supported the army Malianat the beginning of March, in Nioni (center), where thirty bodies were found charred.
According to the British NGO Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), at least 456 civilians were killed in nine incidents involving FAMa and Wagner in Mali between January and mid-April. At least 300 Russian operators are said to be deployed in the country. They had flocked in 2021, after French troops were ordered to pack up.
Tuesday, May 3, the NGO Human Rights Watchbased on dozens of testimonies, again supported accusations of torture, murder, racketeering and summary executions, collected, since 2019, against the Wagner group in Central African Republic. They would have mainly taken place in the center and west of the country, rich in diamond and gold mines.
The report also recalls the complicity of the Central African regular army. Since 2016, President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has linked his fate to that of Russian mercenaries. In 2020, they protected him from the armed groups that occupied two thirds of the country.
On Monday, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, acknowledged the presence of mercenaries in Africa, however only mentioning Libya and Mali, and denying, for the umpteenth time, any link between them and the Russian state.