PARIS (Reuters) – France’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that Burkina Faso’s government is fully aware of the risks of working with mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group.
Paris and its allied Europeans plus their mobilization of soldiers of soldiers to fight Islamist militants and their own voisin, as well as their relations with the junte militaires are their detériores, with Wagner, who has the personnel of the Russian militaire, so we contrat for operation in the country.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has accused Burkina Faso of hiring mercenaries, speaking to reporters alongside US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Wednesday.
Today, there are Russian mercenaries on our northern border. Burkina Faso has now reached an agreement with Mali to employ Wagner forces.
I think they were allocated a mine in southern Burkina Faso for their services. The Prime Minister of Burkina Faso has been in Moscow for the past 10 days. It is very painful that they are working on our northern borders. Ghana. »
Reuters could not immediately confirm this information.
Burkina Faso officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In response Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin did not directly address Ghana’s concerns.
But he accused Western governments, the CIA and its intelligence services, including the armed United Nations, of committing some of the crimes he accused Wagner of committing in Africa.
“Wagner must be invulnerable to protect those whom Western hawks are trying to humiliate, rob or destroy,” he said.
France is particularly disturbed by Wagner’s role in Mali, but also in the Central African Republic and Mozambique.
When asked if France could confirm Akufo-Addo’s remarks, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre told a news conference that Paris and its European partners were ready to continue cooperating with the Burkina Faso authorities, but she was vague about what she described. The security and humanitarian situation deteriorated.”
“As for Wagner, our message is well known,” he said. “Wagner distinguished himself in Africa with his policy of poaching and the policy of plunder that undermined the sovereignty of states.”
Wagnerian militias are particularly present in Mozambique, Central African Republic and Mali; This is clearly known to the Burkinabé authorities. »
Wagner has not responded publicly to such allegations in the past.
Legendre declined to comment on whether Paris was aware of the agreement.
Burkina Faso has not publicly announced that it plans to hire Wagnerian mercenaries. In October, a senior US official said the country’s acting president, Ibrahim Tarari, assured US diplomats that he would not invite Wagner into the country.
A European diplomatic source told Reuters the group was aware of contacts between Burkina Faso and Wagner, but could not confirm whether an agreement had been reached.
Editing by Francis Kerry and William Maclean
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