Russia’s Wagner in Africa
The Russian-owned Wagner Group continues to grow its footprint in parts of Africa, with a presence in Libya, the Central African Republic, Mali and elsewhere. As a private military contractor with close ties to the Kremlin, the group ostensibly provides combat services but has also garnered a reputation for deft media tactics that have bolstered Russia's visibility on the continent. Several African countries now partner closely with Wagner for military support and training. But the war in Ukraine, and Wagner's role in it, has increased scrutiny on the paramilitary group and heightened concerns in Western capitals about its and Moscow's ambitions in Africa.
This week on The Horn, Alan Boswell speaks with Julia Steers, VICE News’ correspondent in Nairobi, about her investigations into Wagner's activities in Africa and Ukraine. They talk about the group's origins and activities on the continent and what Russia and its African partners hope to gain from Wagner’s presence. They also discuss why Western governments are worried about Wagner's growing influence, and why the company is often seen as a useful partner for governments that have asked them to deploy.
For more, check out Crisis Group's analysis on Russia's influence and Wagner's activities in Central African Republic and in Mali.
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