Russia has blocked the sanctions on Mali that were proposed by the United Nations’ Security Council, according to the AFP, August 31.
A draft resolution was prepared in which 13 of the 15 members of the council backed whilst Russia vetoed the proposal and China abstained on the vote to extend sanctions on Mali.
The first draft resolution, prepared by the United Arab Emirates and France and would renew the Mali asset freeze and travel ban sanctions until August 31 2024.
Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s representative to the UN at the vote stated, “Despite the fact that we repeatedly urged a constructive approach and a sensible compromise, the texts did not in any way take into consideration the concerns of the Malian side or the Russian Federation’s position.”
Junta-led Mali has committed “grave human rights abuses” including violence against women. The actions of the country were reported by the UN’s sanctions monitors to the Security Council.
Just as early as last month, it was reported that Mali’s troops and Russia’s Wagner group were committing human rights abuses in the West African country.
Mali has been under military rule since a coup d’état in 2021 which saw the seizing of power from President Bah Ndaw. Military officer, Assimi Goita has been President since.
The junta had called for a cease to the sanctions, which comes after their forced ending to a UN peacekeeping mission.
The mission was deployed in 2013 to offer stability to the country after 2012’s rebellion by Tuareg separatists, rebels who supported independence for Mali’s northern region of Azawad.
The French Forces, who were aiding Mali in fighting violent extremists linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh, were booted out the country as the West African nation sees Russia as a greater ally, teaming up with Wagner Forces since 2021.
The Kremlin’s influence in the Sahel region has been growing and anti-Western sentiment in the region continues.
Russia is in favour of abolishing the United Nations’ monitoring team.
The United States’ Ambassador to the intergovernmental organisation, Robert Wood said that Russia wanted rid of the monitoring team, “To stifle publication of uncomfortable truths about Wagner’s actions in Mali.”
Wood was nominated Ambassador to the UN by President Joe Biden in December 2021.