The United States has imposed sanctions on three Malian government and military officials, including Defence Minister, for “facilitating the deployment and expansion” of Russia’s Wagner Group’s activities in Mali.
In a statement on Monday, the US Department of the Treasury said that it has imposed sanctions on three Malian transition government and military officials — Colonel Sadio Camara (Defence Minister of Mali), Colonel Alou Boi Diarra (Mali’s Chief of Staff of the Air Force) and Lieutenant Colonel Adama Bagayoko (Malian Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff)– for facilitating the deployment and expansion of the Wagner Group’s activities in Mali. It further stated that this development is based on evidence showing that these Malian officials have contributed to the Wagner Group’s malicious activities in Mali.
He further stated, “These officials have made their people vulnerable to the Wagner Group’s destabilizing activities and human rights abuses while paving the way for the exploitation of their country’s sovereign resources to the benefit of the Wagner Group’s operations in Ukraine.”
Mali’s Defence Minister Colonel Camara made several trips to Russia in 2021 to solidify an agreement between the Wagner Group and the Malian transition government to deploy the mercenary force to the West African country, the statement read.
While, Colonel Diarra in his previous role as Air Logistics Chief, significantly contributed to the logistical movement of Russian entities in Mali.
The statement further read, “Together, Camara and Diarra formulated and executed the plan that ultimately ushered the Wagner Group into Mali. On several occasions, Diarra accompanied Camara on trips to Russia to cement the deployment agreement between the Wagner Group and the Malian transition government.”
“Today’s action exposes the principal Malian officials who have been instrumental in facilitating the Wagner Group’s entrenchment in Mali over the past two years. These officials have made their people vulnerable to the Wagner’s destabilizing activities, human rights abuses.” Brian E Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence