January 23, 2022

the modus operandi of the Russian Wagner militia in Africa

While the European Union sanctioned, Monday, December 13, the Russian paramilitary group Wagner as well as eight people and three companies linked to it for its “Destabilization actions” in Ukraine and Africa, The world was able to consult security documents summarizing the methods of the very controversial company of mercenaries. Notes which list its contracts, its equipment, its relays, but also, with supporting photos, the accusations of abuses – looting, torture, arbitrary arrests – targeting the group. In the Central African Republic (CAR) alone, more than two hundred charges have been recorded since December 2020. All this confirms that under the guise of a security offer, Wagner is a scholarly enterprise of predation of resources and of violent takeover of appealing countries. to her.

At this stage, Mali does not appear in these documents, which focus on Wagner’s maneuvers in Libya, Mozambique, and CAR. According to corroborating testimonies, and despite persistent rumors, Wagner’s mercenaries were not formally deployed in this historic pre-square of France, where the general staff, after eight years of war, is in the process of to conduct a delicate downsizing of Operation “Barkhane”. But things could quickly change.

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According to a source familiar with the matter, an advanced pawn of Wagner has indeed taken up residence in Mali since the end of October. His profession: geologist. Its name: Sirgeï L. And its mission: to prospect for gold mines. Wagner’s interest in the Malian mining sector is not new. But the fact that the company now has a specialist in the field could confirm that it is through this door that the paramilitary company intends to establish itself in Mali.

“Core”

It is in the region of Menankoto, in the south of Mali, that the Russian geologist would concentrate his efforts. A reputed area with strong gold potential and little controlled by the central state. Sirgeï L. has since been joined by a Russian lawyer, Andreï M., director of a mining company already linked to Wagner in the Central African Republic. Helped in particular by the head of the Malian air force – pro-Russian – the two men would work to gain access to the high authorities of Mali, in particular to a key interlocutor: the legal adviser of the ministry of mines, of energy and water.

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This implantation model, if it materializes, would be the opposite of that which prevailed in the Central African Republic. In this Central African country, also a former French colony, it was first through the military, from 2018, that Wagner positioned himself, before extending his nets to the political, economic and informational spheres. . And this, even if Wagner hoped from the start “To derive economic gains from your investment” beyond his “Objective of international influence”, as indicated by the documents consulted by The world.

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