Mali: More military equipment from Russia after backlash

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The ruling military junta reportedly received a new shipment of Russian equipment for the Malian armed forces, including two military Mil Mi-35P attack helicopters and 59N6-TE mobile radar systems.

The country has previously received eight helicopters as well as several caches of weapons and ammunition, in a burgeoning diplomatic relationship with Russia.

In a video on the country’s Twitter account, the government shared a video showing the latest shipment of military equipment to Modibo Keita International Airport in Bamako yesterday. According to reports, last month Russia’s defence minister and air force chief visited the country in another sign of strengthening ties.

In a statement outside the hangar, Mali’s armed forces chief, Maj Gen Oumar Diarra said, “This delivery is a demonstration of our fruitful partnership and strong political will. […] We have started to work with the Russian state to keep our autonomy and defend our country.”

Diarra said it will allow the military to protect the people and guarantee peace and the return of security throughout the country. The supplies are intended to aid the Sahel nation to fight the ongoing jihadist campaign that has also received French support since 2013 when extremists seized further territory in the region.

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