The Danish government has reacted with puzzlement to Mali’s initial statement on Sunday, which said it had not been consulted about the deployment last week of about 90 personnel, including special forces and surgeons.
Speaking in Brussels, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said Danish troops were in Mali on the basis of a clear invitation, “just like the other parties in the operation.”
Denmark’s foreign ministry said there was “considerable uncertainty about the transitional government’s announcement” and that it was in contact with Mali’s government.
France also rejected as “unfounded” Mali’s allegations and said it was discussing the situation with its European partners.
Addressing reporters after a meeting with the chair of the African Union Commission, Malian Prime Minister Choguel Maiga insisted the government had not been informed of the deployment.
Denmark’s Kofod also criticized the alleged presence of Russian mercenaries in Mali, calling it “highly problematic.” Tensions have escalated in Mali over allegations that transitional authorities have deployed private military contractors from the Russia-backed Wagner Group, which some EU countries have said is incompatible with their mission.
There has also been discord between Mali and international partners, including regional bodies and the EU which have sanctioned Mali https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-will-fall-line-with-ecowas-sanctions-mali-borrell-says-2022-01-13 over the transitional government’s failure to organize elections following two military coups.