Mali predicted an increase in the terrorist threat after the withdrawal of French troops

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Russian Foreign Ministry: the departure of the French military will lead to a surge in terrorist activity in Mali

Mali predicted an increase in the terrorist threat after the withdrawal of French troops

Photo: Paul Lorgerie / Reuters

The withdrawal of French troops from Mali will lead to an increase in terrorist activity, the joint forces of the “Sahel Five” will not be able to cope with this threat on their own. This was stated in an interview with RIA Novosti by the director of the department of international organizations of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Pyotr Ilyichev.

The diplomat believes that the key to strengthening the security of the region lies precisely in Mali, and the termination of the French operation “Barkhan” could provoke a serious surge in the activity of terrorist groups. “At the same time, neither the joint forces of the Sahel Five, which includes Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, nor the European Takuba mission have sufficient potential to fully reflect this threat,” Ilyichev said.

He noted that one of the reasons for the region's instability is the escalation of the civil war in Libya and the collapse of its statehood during the joint military operation of the West in 2011. A huge variety of weapons fell into the hands of terrorists, and in ten years they have spread throughout northern Africa. “Taking advantage of the weakness of state power, internal political and socio-economic problems, interethnic contradictions, the terrorist international activates subversive actions,” the diplomat predicted.

Ilyichev noted that Russia will continue military and military-technical cooperation with Mali, but will not send a peacekeeping contingent to the UN mission to stabilize the situation in the region.

The military anti-terrorist operation “Barkhan” began in 2013. Long-term hostilities did not bring visible results, so French President Emmanuel Macron announced the imminent end of the operation on June 11, 2021.

On October 13, the Turkish edition of Clash Report announced the growth of the presence of Wagner's private military company in several African countries. At the same time, the French units that participated in Operation Barkhan in the Sahel countries did not find signs of the presence of this PMC in Mali.

Earlier it became known that the leadership of Mali signed a contract with a Russian PMC to help in the fight against local terrorists and to train the country's military specialists. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed this information, but stressed that official Moscow had nothing to do with this.

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