Russia’s presence in Africa depends heavily on the Wagner Group, headed by Yevgeny Prighozin. But now there is uncertainty about the private military’s role after his apparent death in a plane crash in Russia.
Russia’s influence in Africa is intertwined with the mercenary activities of the Wagner Group in various countries, particularly in West and Central Africa. Next to China, Russia has become the main global player exerting its influence on the continent through aid and economic development, but also through trade and military cooperation.
But following reports that Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, might have died in a plane crash in Russia, many now wonder if military support from Russia in Africa will remain unchanged.
For Ryan Cummings, Director at Signal Risk, Centre for Strategies and International Studies, it seems that Wagner’s operations in Africa will “continue as they have been doing for the past few months or even years in certain contexts.”
Assimilation of Wagner
Cummings said in a DW-Interview on the future of the mercenary group in Africa: “If you look at the structure of the Wagner group in countries such as the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and Libya, there is no immediate indication, that there has been a compromise in the relation between the country commanders and the Putin administration.”
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