Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga has denounced US sanctions on the Defence minister, air force chief of staff and his deputy terming the move as a distraction.
“The sanctions against our valiant officers, Defence Minister Col Sadio Camara, Gen Alou Boi Diarra, Col Adama Bagayoko, have no objectives other than to distract the Malian people. Nothing will distract us from the work of rebuilding Mali,” Maiga said.
The US Treasury imposed sanctions on the three for “facilitating” the expansion of Russian`s Wagner Group in Mali.
Wagner troops have been accused of committing atrocities alongside the Malian army in their fight against jihadists, with the US claiming that civilian casualties had more than tripled since their deployment in late 2021.
The prime minister of Mali is the only senior official in the military government to have commented on the sanctions.
The measured Malian response so far contrasts with the rhetoric and accusations of plots to destabilize the ruling junta delivered by government spokesman Col Abdoulaye Maiga in previous diplomatic rows, notably with France and UN.