The Guardian: An American accusation of Wagner Group of exploiting Africa’s resources to fund the Russian war machine

The British newspaper, The Guardian, revealed that the United States accused the Russian Wagner Group of exploiting natural resources in African countries, including Sudan, Mali and Central Africa, to fund the Russian war on Ukraine.

The newspaper quoted the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, warning that “Wagner mercenaries” are exploiting these “illegal gains” to fund the war machine in Africa and the Middle East, in addition to Ukraine.

Linda added during a meeting of the Security Council on the financing of armed groups through the illegal trade in natural resources in Africa that Africans are paying a heavy price for the practices of Wagner violating human rights, and exploiting the resources of Africa.

The Guardian reported that the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, expressed his regret for raising the issue of “Russian support for African partners”, and stressed that this exposed “their truth and the reality of their goals, and what they really want from African countries.”

In August, the Wall Street Journal quoted Western security officials as saying that Russia’s Wagner Group had sent geologists to explore resource-rich areas in southwestern and central Mali before deploying its mercenaries there.

The American newspaper said in a report that these security officials said that the timing of these explorations indicates that Wagner is using military force to clear areas of the population, so that the company can access them for exploration and mining.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Wagner mercenaries were deployed this year alongside the Malian forces in the central and western regions of Mali, noting that they are accused of involvement since last March in at least 6 alleged massacres, according to survivors, Western officials, United Nations officials and organizations. human rights, causing tens of thousands to flee across the border into Mauritania.

Mali is the fourth largest exporter of gold in Africa, and also has large reserves of oil, manganese, uranium and lithium, a mineral used in the manufacture of electric car batteries, according to the US Department of Commerce and the US Geological Survey.

About two weeks ago, the Russian businessman close to the Kremlin, Yevgeny Prigozhin, admitted that he founded the “Wagner” paramilitary group in 2014 to fight in Ukraine, and that elements of it are spread in Africa and Latin America in particular.

This came after a video spread on social media in September showing Prigozhin recruiting prisoners in a Russian prison to fight in the ranks of the Wagner Group on the Ukrainian front.

In a post on the social media accounts of his company, Concorde, Prigozhin confirmed that he founded this group to send qualified fighters to the Donbass region of Ukraine in 2014. “From that moment on May 1, 2014, a group of patriots was born, which took the name of the Wagner Tactical Battalion,” he added in a statement.

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