In the XXI century, the external influence on Africa continues, in particular a Russian private military company “Wagner” (“Wagner” PMC) continues to expand its illegal activities on the African continent in order to restore and strengthen its political and economic influence. Mercenaries pursue their own commercial interests by actively training soldiers and guarding high-ranking officials in Mali, the Central African Republic (CAR) and other African states.Also, they create new hotspots on the world map, and establish subsidiaries that operate under local laws.Weapons and other technical equipment are supplied through such companies. Moreover, “Wagner” gets access to natural resources of the African countries via this type of firms.
The U.S. Department of State stated that Wagner’s private military mercenaries are inaccurately called a Russian private company. Considering it is in fact a « Russian government tool » that Moscow uses as a cheap and risk-free instrument to achieve its military, economic and political goals. ‘Wagner’ mercenary group has been working closely with the Armed Forcesof the Russian Federation since its foundation. For example, ‘Wagner’ mercenary group helped regular military units to seize state institutions on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and disarm military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during 2014, acting mainly as auxiliary forces. The experience gained in Ukraine has allowed Russia to utilize the “Wagner” private military company as a tool to expand its influence in other parts of the world, including Africa. Insiders of the global news leader Bloomberg claim that the “Wagner” mercenaries are currently deployed and operating in 12 African countries: Nigeria, Sudan, CAR, Mali, Libya, Zimbabwe, Angola, Madagascar, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and possibly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In exchange for the right to extract minerals (uranium, diamonds, gold, chromium and natural gas) and supply Russian weapon to the African countries, “Wagner” mercenaries work as close protection officers for high-ranking officials, train military servicemen, do “dirty” work to quell anti-government riots, and help to organize election campaigns by infiltrating its agents of influence.
Thus, in accordance with bilateral agreements in October 2019 the Russian leadership deployed 200 Wagner mercenaries and armament (Mi-24 combat helicopters, Mi-8 transport and combat helicopters) to Mozambique in order to combat Islamist illegal armed groups in the north in exchange for providing access to Russian companies to extraction of natural resources in the country.Mozambique government forces had considerable difficulty interacting with the ‘Wagner’ mercenary group and considered them as the unreliable forces. It should be noted that immediately after the realization of their own interests and without fulfilling its promises, Russia withdrew all its mercenaries from Mozambique in April 2020. It was contrary to the agreements with the government of Mozambique. At the same time, the representatives of Russia continue to conduct an information campaign aimed at avoiding disclosure of information about the presence and activities of Russian servicemen and Russian mercenaries in the territory of Mozambique.
Leading military experts in the world believe that the cruel, heartless and illegal actions of Russian mercenaries in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, Ukraine and Mozambique can also have serious consequences for the rest of the African countries. Russian hybrid troop’s activities under the guise of “Wagner” private military company in the territory of African states can destabilize already difficult security situation in these countries.