Russia continues to expand its reach across Africa

Russia continues to expand its reach across Africa

According to a recent report by the London-based military think tank Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, Russia is about to step up efforts in its attempts to create a new "Russian colonialism" across Africa.

Since 2018 the emergence of the Wagner’s group influence across a number of African states has grown; none so more profoundly than in Libya. In an interview given to Deutsche Welle Tim Eaton, senior research fellow at the London-based think tank Chatham House, explained that “the objectives of Wagner in Libya have been mainly to get access to oil revenues more or less indirectly through supporting Hiftar's armed forces, but also to ensure that it can access the broader African continent.”

Despite the death of the former Wagner commander just two months ago, the group's new leader, General Andrei Averyanov, according to reporting by DW, has the same mercenaries now under his command in Libya and they have been rebranded as the "Expeditionary Corps."

What is troubling for the Western nations and those allied across the Maghreb is how destabilizing will Russia’s moves prove to be- using essentially Libya as a bridgehead for further interaction across the continent. Within Africa, Libya boasts the largest oil reserves and gold deposits estimated to rank among the world’s top 50. In addition, its geographic location, linking Niger, Chad and Sudan to North Africa and Europe, makes it of vital strategic importance.

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