Wagner’s Abortive Rebellion: What Consequences for The Russian Paramilitary Group in Africa?

maryam lahbal
maryam lahbal
3 Min Read

What potential consequences following the rebellion led on June 24th, 2023 by Yevgueni Prigojine and his Wagner men against the Kremlin? Are we moving towards a modification of the Russian presence in Africa? The events and the future of the leader of the paramilitary group will in any case have effects on the continent where Wagner serves as an extension of the interests of the Russian state.

From Bangui to Bamako via the Libyan desert, the mercenaries deployed by Wagner in Africa must be the first to wonder about the future of their boss.

So far, no particular movement has been reported. The group’s employees, accustomed to working independently, continue their activities, security, exploitation, and exfiltration of natural resources, and information maneuvers.

Russian influence in Africa will not decline for all that

Everything will depend on the outcome of the power struggle in Russia and the fate of the founder of Wagner. This is confirmed by Kelian Sanz-Pascual, geopolitical analyst at Cassini Conseil, and researcher at the Geode Center.

“There will be a before and an after, including in Africa, if only depending on the question of whether Yevgueni Prigogine will keep the head of Wagner or not, estimates the one who worked on the actions of the paramilitary group on the African continent. And if he does not retain the head of Wagner, will Wagner continue to exist as such or will his staff be divided between various other structures? It is not excluded that the forces of Wagner find themselves sooner or later in the same way as the other personnel of private military companies under the bosom of the Ministry of Defence”. said Kelian Sanz-Pascual.

Kelian Sanz-Pascual suggests that Sergei Shoigu and his associates, potentially aligned with the Ministry of Defense’s interests, aim to regain control of Wagner, or at least exert influence over it. However, multiple actors, beyond the Ministry of Defense, are vying for a stake in these market shares. While the nature of Russian influence in Africa may change, its overall presence is expected to endure.

Maryam Lahbal

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