New Russian “African military corps” to take over from Wagner

New Russian “African military corps” to take over from Wagner

According to French media, Moscow is preparing an “African military corps” to take over from the Wagner group. A Russian delegation led by the Deputy Minister of Defense recently visited Niger’s capital Niamey. This is the first official visit by a member of the Russian government since the July 26 coup which disrupted diplomatic relations between Niger and its international partners.

The delegation led by the Russian Deputy Minister of Defense, Colonel-General Younous-bek Bamatguireevich Evkourov, was received this last week by the head of the Nigerien military regime, General Abdourahamane Tiani. At the end of this meeting, the parties proceeded “to sign documents as part of the strengthening of military cooperation between the Republic of Niger and the Russian Federation”.

At the same time, the All Eyes on Wagner research group asserted in a recent report, that the Russian presence was accelerating in Burkina Faso. Also that Wagner's forces are now present in Mali alongside the regular army where they have been routinely accused of abuses against the civilian population. How will this build up or concept of a Russian led “African corps” work? According to sources quoting Telegram messages it will comprise former mercenaries who will work under favorable conditions including a high salary, free medical care, life and health insurance, all under the supervision of Deputy Defense Minister Yunous-bek Bamatguireevich Evkourov.

Other sources suggest that this unit will receive direct input from Russian military intelligence, under the leadership of a businessman close to the Russian president. It is a scenario that would be very similar to the one implemented during the Wagner years. Moscow continues to push forward its agenda on the African continent. Among the projects which seem to be worked on with the most consistency, and which greatly worry are of greatest concern to the West, Russia's desire to have access to the Libyan ports of either Benghazi or Tobruk. At the end of August, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister led the delegation which visited Libya at the invitation of General Haftar.

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