Wagner in Africa: what are the consequences?

Russia will continue to operate in the Central African Republic, with the Wagner group currently fighting the insurgency alongside the army or another contingent, a senior official from the presidency of the Central African state said.

“The Central African Republic signed (in 2018, editor’s note) a defense agreement with the Russian Federation and not with Wagner,” declared Fidèle Gouandjika, ministerial special adviser to Central African President Faustin Archange Touadéra, adding:

“Russia has negotiated with Wagner, if Russia no longer agrees with Wagner, it will send us a new contingent.”

Russia will continue its presence in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to a senior official from the presidency of the CAR. The Wagner group, a Russian private military company, is currently assisting the CAR army in fighting against the insurgency. This comes after a defense agreement was signed between the CAR and the Russian Federation in 2018.

Fidèle Gouandjika, the ministerial special adviser to CAR President Faustin Archange Touadéra, clarified that the defense agreement was signed with Russia and not specifically with Wagner. He stated, “Russia has negotiated with Wagner, if Russia no longer agrees with Wagner, it will send us a new contingent.”

The presence of the Wagner group in the CAR has raised concerns among international observers. The private military company has been accused of human rights abuses and destabilizing activities in other conflict zones, such as Ukraine and Syria. However, the Russian government has denied any official links to the group.

The CAR has been grappling with an insurgency since 2012 when rebels overthrew the government. The country has since experienced political and social instability, with armed groups vying for control of territories and resources. The presence of the Wagner group is seen as a strategic move by Russia to extend its influence in the region and secure access to valuable resources.

The involvement of foreign actors in the CAR has complicated efforts to restore stability. The United Nations has deployed peacekeeping forces to support the government and protect civilians. However, the continued presence of armed groups and foreign military assistance has hindered progress.

While the CAR government maintains that the presence of the Wagner group is necessary for combating the insurgency, concerns over their actions and potential human rights violations persist. International organizations and human rights groups have called for increased transparency and accountability regarding the activities of the Wagner group.

It remains to be seen how Russia’s future involvement in the CAR will unfold. The government’s willingness to negotiate with different contingents indicates a degree of flexibility. However, the international community will be closely monitoring the situation to ensure that the rights of the CAR’s citizens are protected and that efforts to restore peace and stability are not undermined.

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