By BARBARA SURK
NICE, France (AP) — France has condemned the Malian transitional authorities’ decision to allow the deployment of the Wagner Group, and accused Moscow of funding the private military company’s use of mercenaries in the West African country. “We are aware of the involvement of the Russian government in providing material support to the deployment of the Wagner group in Mali,” the French foreign ministry said Thursday. It called on Russia “to revert to a responsible … behavior” in West Africa. Mali has struggled to contain an Islamic extremist insurgency since 2012. Russian officials claim that the company has a “legitimate” right to be in Mali because it was invited by the transitional government, and insists that the Russian government is not involved.