In a statement released overnight from Sunday to Monday April 25, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) announced that it was detaining a Russian belonging to the Wagner militia. “During the first week of April, (we have) captured a soldier of the Russian Wagner forces in the region of Ségou (central Mali, Editor’s note) » the statement said.
This is the first time that the main jihadist group in the Sahel, linked to Al-Qaida, has announced the capture of a Russian engaged on the front of the anti-jihadist fight in the country. “These murderous forces participated with the Malian army in a parachute operation on a market in the village of Moura where they confronted several mujahideen before encircling this locality for five days and killing hundreds of innocent civilians”adds the text.
→ REREAD. In Mali, the army accused of the worst massacre committed in ten years of conflict
Since 2012, Mali has been plunged into a deep security crisis that the deployment of foreign forces has not been able to resolve. Led by the military since August 2020, the country has made massive use of what it presents as “instructors” from Russia while Paris and Washington denounce the presence in the country of “mercenaries” of the Russian private group Wagner. An assertion that continues to firmly deny the Malian colonels in power.
The village of Moura was the scene at the end of March of a controversial operation by the Malian army. According to the Bamako authorities, the Malian soldiers there “neutralized” 203 jihadists, but the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses members of the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) of having summarily executed 300 civilians there, with the help of foreign fighters.
The UN mission in Mali (Minusma) has since asked the Malian authorities in vain to allow it to go there to investigate in order to shed light on these events.