Malian military junta receives military aircraft and drones from Russia and Turkey

Archive – Assimi Goita, leader of the military junta in Mali – PRESIDENCIA DE MALÍ

Mali’s military junta reported Thursday that it has received a delivery of about 20 military aircraft and several drones from Russia and Turkey.

At a press conference following the handover ceremony attended by junta leader and current transitional president, Assimi Goita, as well as diplomats from Russia and Turkey, the head of the Malian Air Force, Alou Boi Diarra confirmed the shipment, LSI Africa reports.

A reporter of the above-mentioned media reported that at the place where the announcement took place, on a runway of the airport of Bamako, the capital, there were five military planes and four drones.

The planes, model Albatros L-39, are of Czech design and are used as attack aircraft, although their original purpose was as training aircraft. These aircraft are joined by Turkish Bayraktar-TB2 drones, which, according to Mali’s defense minister, Colonel Sadio Camara, are capable of tracking and surveillance operations and will be used to improve the accuracy of air strikes.

This shipment follows another of similar caliber in January, when Russia sent military aircraft and helicopters to the country, bringing Mali closer to its new ally after the rift with France.

Mali and the rest of the Sahel countries have experienced an upsurge in violence, both jihadist violence at the hands of groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and inter-community violence, which has led France and the G5 Sahel countries – which the Malian junta left in 2022 – to step up their operations.