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Wagner in Africa

Wagner in Africa
Wagner in Africa

The mercenary group Wagner has been active gain recently after months of being down due to the death of their leader Yevgeny Prighozin and other high-ranking officials in a plane crash last August. After losing their leadership, Wagner became a part of the Russian military often working under the Russian intelligence agency GRU. While there is no proof, it seems likely that Putin was the one who killed Prighozin to take full control over Wagner. Before his death, Prighozin challenged Putin and led a mutiny against him with his group Wagner. Putin is known for taking out anyone who does not support him. So he could have been the one who planned the plane crash. Even if the crash was a complete accident, Putin still greatly benefits from it because now he has full control over Wagner, and does not have to worry about Prighozin or anyone else trying to rebel against him. Wagner has been centered in Africa where Russian support is prevalent. Since the 1980s Russia has supported countries in Africa, so they are open to supporting the mercenary group. They visited the West African nations Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which all share one thing in common, they have all experienced recent military invasions. Wagner seems to be capitalizing on the insecurity of these countries to try and secure loyalty and influence from them. They seemed particularly interested in Mali where they offered Russian protection for the country due to the recent coups and uprisings in the country. Mali had been backed by French support previously, but the people in Mali did not have a lot of respect for the French so they were open to letting them go. In comparison, Mali might respect Wagner, but a lot of other countries do not, labeling them as war criminals.

Wagner has been involved in conflicts like the Russo-Ukrainian War, where they were accused of war crimes alongside the Russian military. This has made them a threat to other countries with some labeling them as a terrorist group. Wagner is hated in the western parts of the world like Europe or the Americas, but they are loved in Africa. Despite the Africans supporting Wagner, it seems their trust might be misplaced because Wagner does not show that they have helping intentions. The continent of Africa has a lot of minerals and valuable resources which makes them a target for other countries like the US or Russia. Wagner has been helping countries like Mali in exchange for some of these minerals like gold or lithium. They have taken control of a gold mine in Mali which they are using as payment for their services. In the last 2 years, in all the countries they have operated in Wagner has made over 2 billion dollars from taking control of these resources. This money can go back to Russia and pay for their costly war in Ukraine. It also provides another benefit to take these resources, other countries are unable to use them. For example, France uses a lot of nuclear power so they need an abundant supply of uranium which is mainly found in Africa. France gets about a fifth of their supply from Niger, which Wagner is currently occupying, and could get a grasp hold over like in Mali. If they can take control of the uranium mines, France would have a massive problem, because they would either raise the price significantly or just not sell uranium at all. While it may not be important right now, Wagner’s involvement in Africa could lead to huge global problems down the line.

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About the Contributor
Alex Canela, Writer
Hi, I'm Alex, I am in 7th grade and am a writer for World News. My goal is to write as quickly and accurately as I can, specifically about Local News.

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