Many counties (e.g. France, UK, Germany) recently signaled they would be backing away from aid to Mali after Russian mercenaries were exposed there having prominent influence.
The pressure to recognize and steer clear of Putin’s hand seems to have only worsened the Russian disinformation crisis (let alone ruthless massacres of civilians) in Mali.
Now the Mali government, under the grip of infamously deceitful Russian mercenaries, is reportedly trying to send UN peacekeepers to jail for being… mercenaries.
A court in the increasingly isolated West African nation of Mali sentenced 46 soldiers from neighboring Ivory Coast to 20 years in jail on Friday, after the military junta that runs Mali accused them of being mercenaries.
The government of Ivory Coast said the soldiers were in Mali to support the United Nations peacekeeping mission, a force of 15,000 members that has been there for almost a decade to protect civilians from violent Islamist groups. But the Court of Appeal in Mali’s capital, Bamako, convicted them of crimes including conspiracy against the government, after a closed trial that lasted a day and a half.
If that sounds like rediculously backwards double-talk, you’re hearing unmistakable sounds of Russian military intelligence.
It’s similar to how Russian mercenaries operate now in Ukraine under Putin’s Nazi-sounding doctrine, while accusing their anti-Nazi targets of being the Nazis.
To be fair, Mali presents a complex environment and reporters are saying “what if” about every possibility.
Ivory Coast is perhaps known best for both excessive corruption, and overcoming much of it during ebola thanks to direct UN military intervention. That background of militant anti-corruption success makes it an even more interesting case — Russia hates anti-corruption more than anything.
It’s possible the positive legacy of UN intervention there was still going, and someone hoped it could help Mali. That terrified the notorious Russian mercenaries who thrive on corruption.
Or it’s possible that a significantly reduced UN presence slipped back into the grip of local corruption, but that level of competition for power usually wouldn’t bother the Russians so….
Either way, Mali sounds like it’s aligning with the wrong side of history when totally corrupt Russian mercenaries are believed to be pushing politicians to put UN peacekeepers in jail.