Algeria denies funding Wagner Group mercenaries in Mali
The ministry issued a response to reports published Wednesday by French-language, Paris-based news website Algerie Part, which claimed that Algeria had entered negotiations with Malian authorities to contribute in financing part of a deal between Mali’s government and the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary organisation.
The ministry described the allegations as "baseless," saying in a statement that the "foreign media outlet which made the claims is known for its loyalty to… the French intelligence led by (France’s) former ambassador to Algeria, Bernard Amy."
It slammed the accusations as "shameful manipulation."
There has been an international outcry against the Mali-Wagner Group deal, particularly from France, which decided earlier this year to reduce its military presence in Mali.
Mali struck a deal with the private Russian company to help battle extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State active in the Sahel region.
Malians have held regular protests against the French military and accuse them of failing to make any difference in the fight against the Islamist extremists. Some have called the presence of French troops an occupation, and have called on them to leave.