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28 Jun, 2023 11:22

African leader reveals plans for Russian security

The Central African Republic reportedly does not expect security problems after turmoil involving the Wagner Group
African leader reveals plans for Russian security

Any changes to the Wagner private military company following its aborted mutiny in Russia last week will not compromise the security of its clients, an adviser to the president of the Central African Republic (CAR) has told the Financial Times.

The British newspaper has analyzed the effects that the unrest in Russia may have on African nations where Wagner has a presence. Fidele Gouandjika, an adviser to President Faustin-Archange Touadera, expressed certainty that his government can still rely on Russia.

“If Moscow decides to withdraw them [Wagner] and send us the Beethovens or the Mozarts rather than Wagners, we will have them,” he was quoted as saying in an article on Wednesday.

FT sources on the ground reported no visible changes in CAR since the short-lived insurrection launched by Wagner chief Evgeny Prigozhin last Friday. Wagner forces there may have received additional shipments of weapons from Russia in recent weeks, the report suggested.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov insisted on Monday that Moscow’s relations with African nations had not been affected by the domestic turmoil. Speaking to RT, Lavrov said he had not seen “any sign of panic” among governments that use Wagner’s services, and that the Russian government was also open to direct military cooperation. The diplomat noted that CAR in particular has an arrangement with the Russian Defense Ministry, under which it hosts several hundred military instructors.

Western nations have long taken issue with the Wagner Group’s presence on the African continent, claiming that Russia was using it to exert “colonialist” influence. France, whose position in its former colonies has diminished over the past several years, has been among the most vocal critics.