AA / Amarana Maiga
Chad’s foreign minister, Chérif Mahamat Zene, said Thursday he had “reasons” to be concerned about the presence of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner company on the African continent, French media reported.
Declaration made while the controversy around a possible recourse by Mali to the Wagner company continues to swell, leading to strong reactions both on a continental and international scale.
“Any outside interference, wherever it comes from, poses a very serious problem for the stability and security of my country,” said Chérif Mahamat Zene, quoted by the France 24 news channel.
Everything will be done “to ensure that Chad is protected throughout its territory,” he added.
“There are Russian mercenaries present in Libya, who are also present in the Central African Republic. We have reason to be concerned about the presence of these mercenaries because the attackers who attacked Chad in April and caused the death of the former president (Idriss Deby) were trained, supervised by the private security company Wagner, “he said.
When asked whether Chad had proof of the penetration of these Russian mercenaries into his country in the spring, the minister replied in the negative, notes the same media.
“On May 30, Chad was attacked near the Central African border […] certainly supported by the Russians, “he also recalled.” We have all the evidence of the presence of these Russians alongside the Central African forces and that concerns us, “he nevertheless underlined.
Asked about a possible contract which could be concluded between the Malian executive and Wagner, for a deployment of Russian “instructors” in Mali, Chérif Mahamat Zene underlined that “until today, the Malian government affirms that it there was no agreement with this group “.
“I met my Malian colleague at the UN, he assured me that there had been no government engagement with Wagner. We cannot prejudge something that does not exist,” a- he declared.
In the grip of a particularly unstable security situation in its northern and central-northern parts, Mali, like the other countries of the Sahel, has faced terrorist attacks since the end of the Tuareg rebellion in 2012. the West African country on the front line in the fight against terrorism.
To alleviate the difficulties encountered by the national army, the country has been supported since the start of its war against terrorism, by several thousand French soldiers from Operation Barkhane and nearly 12,000 peacekeepers. However, their ineffectiveness in putting an end to the security crisis prompts the authorities to redouble their efforts to improve its defense.
For several weeks, the military junta has been at the heart of a controversy because of an alleged agreement reached with the group of Russian mercenaries Wagner for the training of its soldiers. This information, moreover not denied by the Malian authorities, aroused strong reactions from both France and the international community, which warned that this could affect their relations with Mali.
“We cannot be prevented from sending people to be trained in a given country because another country does not want to. We are forced to ask ourselves: should we not have a plan B ”, Prime Minister Choguel Maïga reacted on September 16.
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