A S HE HANDED over a large wooden key on December 14th, a French colonel symbolically passed control of a military base in Timbuktu to his Malian counterpart. The tricolore , which had flown over the camp in northern Mali since France sent troops there in 2013 to counter jihadists and separatists, was replaced by a Malian flag. The ceremony marked a milestone in a French plan to cut by almost half its 5,100-strong counter-terrorism force in the region, as it refocuses on training and supporting local troops in their battle against the extremists who have overrun swathes of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. Yet soon after the French had left, a contingent of Russians moved in. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS Android . They are but one element of a Russian force that is perhaps 450-strong, says a French military official, who adds that most are mercenaries from Wagner Group. This is a company founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a crony of President Vladimir Putin. It is reportedly being paid $10m a month in Mali, much of it under a goons-for-gold deal. Mali's government insists it has no hired guns fighting for it and that the Russians are… Read full this story
- Can Chinese weapons contribute to peace in Africa?
- How Does U.S. Military Compare to Russia, China and North Korea? Rivals Attack Trump National Security Strategy
- Facebook says it suspends accounts tied to Putin ally for meddling in Africa
- Russia-Saudi-Led Oil Deal Makes Prices Rise Despite US Shale Output Boost
- Countdown to Russia: Socrates’ headband to Stoichkov’s tantrums, we look back at the best No8s in World Cup history
- World Cup Semi Final, Croatia vs England Highlights: Croatia Beat England To Reach First-Ever FIFA World Cup Final
- How Russia's FSB Colonized Abkhazia
- 'I want to come home': NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden admits he'd like to leave Russia and return to America but says he won't get a fair trial, as he opens up about leaking top secret documents on the US government's mass surveillance program
- Goldman Prize: Two South African activists win for halting secret Russian nuclear deal
- 'Putin's chef' reports spark grisly death threats against Russian journalists
Small bands of mercenaries extend Russia’s reach in Africa have 355 words, post on www.economist.com at January 15, 2022. This is cached page on Vietnam Dance. If you want remove this page, please contact us.