Spain and other European countries together with Canada denounce the presence of mercenaries in Mali with the support of Russia

MADRID, 23 Dic. (EUROPA PRESS) –

Several European countries, including France and Spain, as well as Canada, have denounced this Thursday in a joint statement the presence of mercenaries from the Russian private security company Grupo Wagner in Mali, a deployment, they point out, which has had the support of Moscow and that “it can only accentuate the deterioration of security” in West Africa.

“We deeply regret the decision of the Transitional Government of Mali to use already limited public funds to pay foreign mercenaries instead of supporting its Armed Forces and its public services for the benefit of its own people”, denounces a statement in which it was predicts a “worsening of Human Rights” due to this paramilitary presence.

In turn, the signatories emphasize that this armed presence “threatens the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement resulting from the Algiers process and hinders the efforts of the international community to guarantee the protection of civilians and provide support to the Malian security forces.” .

In turn, the group directly accuses the Kremlin of “participating” in this deployment through material support to the Wagner Group. “We ask Russia to adopt a responsible and constructive behavior in the region,” demand the 16 countries that have signed the statement, including Germany, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, or Lithuania.

These countries have endorsed the concerns raised previously by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding the presence of these private security companies and recalled the sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Wagner Group and on eight people and three related entities.

All of them, they denounce, are involved “in serious violations against Human Rights”, such as “torture, extrajudicial executions, summary murders and destabilizing activities in some of the countries in which they operate.”

“We urge the transitional government to undertake reforms and restore constitutional order by preparing and organizing elections as soon as possible, just as they promised to do before the people of Mali, ECOWAS and the international community,” the group stressed.

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