US: Russia’s Wagner group moving weapons to Ukraine via Mali

WASHINGTON: The US suspects Russian mercenary agency Wagner Group is making an attempt to ship weapons to fighters in Ukraine by the West African nation of Mali, in accordance with State Division Spokesman Matthew Miller.
“We do imagine that Wagner is making an attempt to obscure its efforts to amass army tools to be used in Ukraine, together with by working by third social gathering nations the place it has a foothold,” Miller mentioned throughout briefing Monday.
“We now have been knowledgeable that Wagner is in search of to transit materials acquisitions to help Russia’s struggle by Mali, and is prepared to make use of false paperwork for these transactions,” Miller mentioned.
The US believes Wagner Group has been making an attempt to purchase army programs from “overseas suppliers and route these weapons by Mali,” Miller mentioned, 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 regularly condemned the Wagner Group’s actions in Africa — notably in Mali and the Central African Republic — for additional destabilizing nations battling battle.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has sanctioned the group and its head Yevgeny Prigozhin, mentioned the mercenary outfit exploits African assets and is “a plague on folks within the nations 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 mentioned {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 traders involved that the US might punish South Africa, brought about 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 mentioned Might 11 that he would “wager my life” on the declare that weapons had been loaded onto a Russian cargo ship, the Woman R, in December. Requested in regards to the allegations, one other State Division spokesman, Vedant Patel, mentioned Might 15 that the US did have “critical issues” in regards to the sanctioned ship docking in Cape City.
Miller on Monday reiterated the division’s issues in regards to 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 nations are linked.

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