US Turns Tables on Putin in Africa PMC Powerplay – by Brendan Cole (Newsweek Magazine – December 20, 2023)

Security firm Bancroft Global Development is looking to manage mining sites in the Central African Republic (CAR), following a push by Washington for the former French colony to stop relying on Russian-backed Wagner mercenaries, it has been reported.

Radio France International (RFI) said that delegates from the U.S-based firm had been talking with the CAR over providing trained, equipped units to protect sites in the country where armed groups operate.

The publication Africa Intelligence had reported in September that talks had been held in the CAR capital Bangui between Bancroft and the country’s president Faustin-Archange Touadéra. Russian military bloggers have also noted the reports.

Bancroft operates in regions affected by armed conflict and has a particular focus on Somalia where it provides capacity building for the Somali National Army and the African Union Mission to Somalia. The New York Times reported in 2011 that the State Department had “indirectly financed” Bancroft to help the fight against the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

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