Wagner mercenaries in Mali and EU follow-up
Question for written answer E-005179/2021
to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE)
For some time now, there have been reports of contacts between those in power in Mali and the so-called Wagner group. It is claimed that Mali is not only using Wagner mercenaries to replace the dwindling French troops and to train the Malian army, but also as the ‘Praetorian Guard’ of the junta, which, as a result, is even less inclined to organise the planned elections.
The presence of Wagner mercenaries in Mali is incompatible with the Union’s involvement and engagement in that country. These mercenaries are also a destabilising factor par excellence.
On 15 November, the Foreign Affairs Council discussed sanctions against individuals and entities that are banned, including the Wagner group. I support these sanctions and call for their swift implementation.
- 1.What information does the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have about the presence of Wagner mercenaries in Mali and their cooperation with the military there?
- 2.What measures does the Union intend to implement to prevent or combat the destabilising impact of mercenaries in Mali and, by extension, the whole Sahel region?
- 3.Why is the Union not taking a more (pro)active approach to developing an effective policy on mercenary activities in general, especially given the risks and dangers they pose to European security and defence policy?