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Mali: Junta accuses Washington of disinformation


Highlights: U.S. imposes sanctions on two Malian officers accused of taking part in an anti-jihadist operation. The Malian government calls on the U.S.-led coalition to stop the sanctions. The United States has accused the two of trying to use Mali as an intermediary to get weapons to Ukraine. The Mali government denies this, saying that only jihadists were involved in the operation in the first place, and that no civilians were killed. The sanctions are in response to a report by the United Nations into the alleged actions of the Malian military.

The junta in power in Mali on Sunday called on the United States to stop the disinformation campaign it would carry out, after the sanctions...

Mali's ruling junta on Sunday called on the United States to stop its alleged disinformation campaign after sanctions were imposed on two Malian officers Washington accuses of taking part in a massacre in the center of the country in 2022.

The State Department last week announced visa restrictions against Moustapha Sangare, then commander of a parachute commando regiment, and Major Lassine Togola, commander of a special forces battalion. The two men "were responsible for elements of the Malian armed forces that conducted the operations in Moura," the State Department said.

The UN in early May accused the Malian army and "foreign" fighters of executing at least 500 people in March 2022 during an anti-jihadist operation in Moura. Westerners, including Americans, claim that these foreign fighters are members of the Russian private security company Wagner, whose actions are decried in different countries.

The junta in power since 2020 denies the presence of Wagner and speaks of Russian army instructors deployed in the name of state-to-state cooperation. She dismissed the UN report as biased and claimed that only jihadists had been killed in Moura, and no civilians.

Along with the sanctions against the two Malian commanders, the US Treasury announced retaliatory measures against Ivan Maslov, whom it presents as Wagner's leader in Mali.

The United States has also accused Wagner of seeking to use Mali as an intermediary to get weapons to his fighters in Ukraine.

The Malian government "learned with astonishment of the unilateral decision" of the US government to sanction the two Malian officers, "on the sole basis of the United Nations report," said its spokesman, Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga in a statement.

On May 25, Malian Foreign Affairs "invited" U.S. Ambassador Rachna Korhonen to convey "the extreme gravity of the false accusations against the Republic of Mali," he said.

The government "is upset by these actions that negatively impact bilateral cooperation," he said. He "calls on the government of the United States of America to stop the disinformation campaign against Mali," he said.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-05-29

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