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Russia's Lavrov to meet junta leader in Mali visit


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to arrive in Mali’s capital, Bamako, on Monday for his second trip to Africa in two weeks.

Mali’s foreign ministry said Mr Lavrov will hold a meeting with junta leader, Col Assimi Goïta, and other officials during the two-day visit.

The Yerewolo movement, which advocates for closer ties between Mali and Russia, welcomed Mr Lavrov’s visit and called for the installation of a Russian military base in the northern Gao Region, aBamako website reports.

Mr Lavrov was expected to visit Mali during his trip to the continent in January, but instead toured South Africa, Angola, Eswatini and Eritrea.

Russia's influence in Mali has steadily increased since the deployment of Wagner Group mercenaries in December 2021.

Mr Lavrov said France had created a security void by withdrawing its troops from the Sahel nation, which Mali had asked Russia to help fill.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world/africa