Buy Our Writers A Coffee

Subscription Amount. Min £2


The US State Department said on 22 May that Russia’s Wagner mercenary group plans to send arms to Ukraine via its operations in Mali, an impoverished landlocked nation in Africa’s sprawling Sahel region. Ruled by a military junta since a May 2021 coup, its interim president, Colonel Assimi Goita, fell out with France, a long-term ally, over the junta’s reluctance to announce a return to democracy. The coup was Mali’s second in two years. 

In January 2022, Mali expelled France’s ambassador and by September French President Emmanuel Macron had withdrawn all his troops from the country, where they’d been battling Jihadist terror groups for over nine years. 

Enter Russia, ever the opportunists. As early as February 2022, ‘’several hundred’’ Wagner troops arrived in Bamako, the Mali capital, according to General Stephen Townsend, then commander of the U.S. Africa Command force. They were delivered by Russia’s air force. Both Russia and Mali claim Wagner personnel are there to train Mali’s embattled army, but the United Nations says Wagner troops were involved in, and oversaw, the massacre of at least 500 people near the village of Mouri, in Mali’s Mopti region. That happened in March 2022, barely a month after they’d arrived in the troubled African nation. 

Wagner in Africa: Russia’s Other Empire in the Making – Bloodier than Ukraine

Wagner’s presence in Mali will likely be paid for with licenses to mine gold, as it is in Sudan and the Central African Republic. That gold helps finance its operations in Ukraine. 

‘’There are indications that Wagner has been attempting to purchase military systems from foreign suppliers and route these weapons through Mali as a third party,’’ State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

Miller didn’t mention which ‘foreign suppliers’ might be involved, so it may be a coincidence that the Amercian ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, accused the Pretoria government of sending arms to Russia after a Russian ship, the Lady R, docked at the South African naval yard in Simonstown earlier this month. The ship is under U.S. sanctions. 

‘’We are confident that weapons were loaded on to that vessel and I’d bet my life on the accuracy of that assertion,’’ Brigety said, adding that the ‘’arming of Russia by South Africa is fundamentally unacceptable.’’ 

China’s Belt and Road Power Grab Comes Under Pressure in Sudan

South Africa, which manufactures sophisticated weaponry, military equipment and vehicles, rebuked Brigety and denied that it provided Russia with equipment. It didn’t, however, explain why a sanctioned civilian ship had moored in a naval yard. Soon after, South Africa’s defence minister and intelligence minister visited Moscow on separate trips. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says his country is part of a team of six African nations attempting to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine, spurred by concerns over grain supplies affected by Russia’s invasion of its neighbour. 

Brigety’s accusation came after Ramaphosa had sent a delegation to Washington late April in an attempt to allay US concerns about South Africa’s cosy relationship with Moscow. At stake is South Africa’s membership or participation in America’s Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA, a law that gives some African states beneficial trade access to US markets.

South Africa’s membership is due to be renewed – or cancelled – in 2025, and it is imperilled, not least by South Africa’s reluctance to state whether Putin will attend a BRICS summit towards the end of August.

The BRICS nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are due to meet just a month ahead of a possible AGOA summit also scheduled to take place in South Africa. U.S. officials told South Africa’s Daily Maverick that members of Congress would feel insulted were they to be invited days after Putin, wanted on an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court, had been in the country. It’s Congress that decides which African nations are or aren’t going to benefit from AGOA. 

Either way, the scope of Russia’s attempts to exert influence across the length of Africa should disturb Western powers, according to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime. ‘’Russia has sought to increase its political involvement in Africa since the 2014 invasion of Crimea,’’ it said in a January report. ‘’Sanctioned Russian entities in Africa – which are primarily involved in the mining sector – may be turning to illicit means of transporting goods, minerals, and money to fly under the radar of international sanctions.’’  By Brian Latham, Byline Times

About IEA Media Ltd

Informer East Africa is a UK based diaspora Newspaper. It is a unique platform connecting East Africans at home and abroad through news dissemination. It is a forum to learn together, grow together and get entertained at the same time.

To advertise events or products, get in touch by info [at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447957636854.
If you have an issue or a story, get in touch with the editor through editor[at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447886544135.

We also accept donations from our supporters. Please click on "donate". Your donations will go along way in supporting the newspaper.

Get in touch

Our Offices

London, UK
+44 7886 544135
editor (@)
Slough, UK
+44 7957 636854
info (@)

Latest News

Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania in Nigeria

Dr. Samia Suluhu Has...

The President is in Nigeria to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new President of the Federal...

MP Hassan: Argument about housing levy is political

MP Hassan: Argument...

Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan attending the Kenya Kwanza Parliamentary Group (PG) at State House on May...

Buhari, CJN arrive Eagle Square; all set for Tinubu’s inauguration

Buhari, CJN arrive E...

President Muhammdu Buhari, has arrived at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the nation’s capital for the inau...

Two die of Congo fever in Balkh Central Hospital

Two die of Congo fev...

Two patients died of Congo fever in Abu Ali Sinai Balkhi Hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif city, health off...

For Advertisement

Big Reach

Informer East Africa is one platform for all people. It is a platform where you find so many professionals under one umbrella serving the African communities together.

Very Flexible

We exist to inform you, hear from you and connect you with what is happening around you. We do this professionally and timely as we endeavour to capture all that you should never miss. Informer East Africa is simply news for right now and the future.

Quality News

We only bring to you news that is verified, checked and follows strict journalistic guidelines and standards. We believe in 1. Objective coverage, 2. Impartiality and 3. Fair play.

Banner & Video Ads

A banner & video advertisement from our sponsors will show up every once in a while. It keeps us and our writers coffee replenished.