Mali has received another batch of military equipment from Russia after the European Union suspended its military training programme with the Sahel nation.
Mali’s armed forces chief, Maj Gen Oumar Diarra, received two combat helicopters and surveillance radars, the Malian presidency said in a statement.
The presidency shared a video showing the equipment as it was delivered by a Russian cargo flight at the airport in the capital Bamako.
Mr Diarra termed Russia’s support to Mali as “a manifestation of the very fruitful partnership”.
Last month, Mali received two Russian-made combat helicopters and radars shortly after reports that its defence minister and air force chief “discreetly” visited Moscow.
State media widely publicised the reception and hailed Russia’s growing support for Mali in counter-insurgency operations.
Mali has defended relations with Russia after international backlash over a decision to deploy mercenaries from the controversial Wagner paramilitary firm in December.
This triggered the ongoing withdrawal of France’s Operation Barkhane forces and European troops under the Takuba Task Force.
Wagner fighters and the Malian army have been linked to allegations of gross human rights abuses in joint counter-insurgency operations in recent months, reports Mali denies. Source: BBC