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Ghana accuses Burkina Faso of hiring Russian Wagner mercenaries

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Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo says his neighbour Burkina Faso has “reached an association” with the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, an announcement the federal government in Ouagadougou declined to remark Thursday.

“Burkina Faso has now made an association to, like Mali, use Wagner forces. I imagine a mine in southern Burkina has been allotted to them as a type of fee for his or her companies,” he mentioned throughout a gathering in the USA with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In line with the Ghanaian head of state, “Russian mercenaries are on the northern border” of Ghana, which is “notably worrying”.

“We’ve no response. I depart him the duty for what he mentioned,” replied to AFP the spokesman for the Burkinabe authorities Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo.

In a number of French-speaking African international locations, Moscow is conducting an energetic affect marketing campaign, notably on social networks, and enjoys rising fashionable help when France, the previous colonial energy, is more and more vilified.

A number of international locations accuse the junta in energy in Mali of getting recourse to the companies of Wagner, who’s reputed to be near the Moscow regime, which Bamako denies.

The query of a potential rapprochement with Russia has additionally arisen in Burkina because the Sept. 30 coup, the second in eight months, which introduced Captain Ibrahim Traoré to energy, whereas the nation has struggled to deal with recurrent lethal jihadist assaults since 2015.

On Monday, Burkina Faso’s Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyelem de Tembela met in Moscow with Russian Deputy Overseas Minister Mikhail Bogdanov to debate “precedence problems with strengthening relations” between the 2 international locations, in keeping with a Russian Overseas Ministry assertion.

Requested concerning the journey, the Burkinabe authorities spokesman didn’t want to remark.

Mr. Kyelem de Tembela had mentioned in late October that he wouldn’t rule out re-examining his nation’s “relations” with Russia.

“We are going to strive, as a lot as potential, to diversify our partnership relations till we discover the best system for the pursuits of Burkina Faso. However there can be no query of letting ourselves be dominated by a accomplice, whoever it might be,” he mentioned in mid-November.

On Thursday night, the pinnacle of US diplomacy reiterated his fears concerning the Russian group.

“As quickly as Wagner deploys, international locations are in a weaker, poorer, much less safe and fewer impartial place,” Antony Blinken warned at a press convention on the shut of the three-day U.S.-Africa summit in Washington.

“Our African companions are telling us that they do not wish to see their assets exploited, they do not need their human rights abused, they do not need their governance undermined, so on the finish of the day, they actually don’t need Wagner,” he added.