US: Russia’s Wagner group transferring weapons to Ukraine through Mali

WASHINGTON: The US suspects Russian mercenary agency Wagner Group is attempting to ship weapons to fighters in Ukraine by means of the West African nation of Mali, in keeping with State Division Spokesman Matthew Miller.
“We do consider that Wagner is attempting to obscure its efforts to amass navy gear to be used in Ukraine, together with by working by means of third occasion international locations the place it has a foothold,” Miller stated throughout briefing Monday.
“We now have been knowledgeable that Wagner is in search of to transit materials acquisitions to help Russia’s warfare by means of Mali, and is keen to make use of false paperwork for these transactions,” Miller stated.
The US believes Wagner Group has been attempting to purchase navy techniques from “international suppliers and route these weapons by means of Mali,” Miller stated, including there isn’t any indication these weapons acquisitions have been finalized or executed.
Mali’s embassy in Washington didn’t instantly reply to an e mail in search of remark.
Senior US officers have ceaselessly condemned the Wagner Group’s actions in Africa — notably in Mali and the Central African Republic — for additional destabilizing international locations combating battle.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has sanctioned the group and its head Yevgeny Prigozhin, stated the mercenary outfit exploits African sources and is “a plague on individuals within the international locations which have chosen to work with them.”
Miller’s feedback about Mali come lower than two weeks after the US ambassador to South Africa set off a diplomatic row when he stated {that a} Russian cargo ship had collected armaments after docking late final 12 months on the Simon’s City naval base in Cape City.
The allegations, which rattled buyers involved that the US might punish South Africa, precipitated the federal government in Pretoria to name in Ambassador Reuben Brigety for a gathering, with the South Africans saying in an announcement afterward that he “admitted that he crossed the road and apologized unreservedly.”
Brigety stated Could 11 that he would “guess my life” on the declare that weapons had been loaded onto a Russian cargo ship, the Girl R, in December. Requested concerning the allegations, one other State Division spokesman, Vedant Patel, stated Could 15 that the US did have “critical issues” concerning the sanctioned ship docking in Cape City.
Miller on Monday reiterated the division’s issues concerning the incident in South Africa, although declined to say whether or not the Wagner Group is suspected of being concerned or if the problems within the two international locations are linked.

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