ECOWAS said Russia would be held responsible for any human rights violation committed by Wagner Group in the West African sub-region.
Founder of Wagner private mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin makes a statement as he stand next to Wagner fighters in an undisclosed location….CONTINUE READING
Wagner Group, a Russian state-funded private military company controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, has continued to gain a foothold in the Sahel, especially in Mali, where it’s helping to crush insurgencies.
The group has also been reportedly contacted by the Niger junta for backup against possible military action as threatened by ECOWAS.
Commenting on Wagner’s presence in the region, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah, said another West African country had a separate arrangement with the security outfit.
Musah made this known while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, August 11, 2023.
“The Wagner Group, apparently, is in Mali today. The Malian government says this is an agreement between them and the Russian Federation,” he said.
He added that “We want to take them by their word, which means any sort of action that infringes on human rights or yeah, or devastation in our region by these private military contractors, we are going to hold the other countries of our region responsible for that.”
Asked if he meant Russia, Musah stressed, “That’s Russia — (we will hold them) responsible, diplomatically. The West African region is just not Russia.”
The ECOWAS official noted that private military companies had been a staple of the African conflict scene for years.
“Private military companies were involved in Sierra Leone. They were involved in Liberia during those civil wars, long ago. And even recently in the global conflict, there has been the use of private military companies.
“The Americans are using them in Iraq; in Afghanistan, they use them, and others. What we are seeing is that these groups are not acceptable in Africa, even though they are there and we are going to hold their countries of origin responsible for any violations,” he added.
Highlighting the current involvement of the Western forces in Niger, including France and the European Union (EU), Musah disclosed that the region had also seen an influx of Middle Eastern nations such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
“What we are saying is that we are not going to allow West Africa to be an arena of proxy wars again. And that is our attitude to Wagner. It is not our option.
“We do not want private military companies interfering in the conflict environment in the region because we know the consequences of their action....CONTINUE READING