Russian mercenaries ‘exploit Africa to finance the war in Ukraine’ | The United Nations

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The United States has accused Russian mercenaries of exploiting natural resources in the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and elsewhere to help fund Moscow’s war in Ukraine, a charge Russia has dismissed as “anti-terrorism rage”. Russian”.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the Wagner mercenary group was exploiting natural resources and “these ill-gotten gains are being used to fund Moscow’s war machine in Africa, the Middle East and in Ukraine”.

“Make no mistake: people across Africa are paying a heavy price for the Wagner Group’s exploitative practices and human rights abuses,” Thomas-Greenfield told Council meeting security report on the financing of armed groups through the illicit trafficking of natural resources in Africa.

Wagner, made up of veterans of the Russian armed forces, fought in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic, Mali and other countries. It was founded in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and began supporting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donbass region.

The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said he regretted that Thomas-Greenfield had raised the question of “Russian support for African partners”.

“It exposes their real plans and objectives – what they really need from African countries,” Nebenzia said, without giving further details.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February came at a time of heightened rivalry between the West, China and Russia over Africa’s natural resources, trade and security ties. Some states fear being stuck in the middle of intense geopolitical rivalry.

Russia has attempted to break its international isolation after nearly three-quarters of the General Assembly voted to reprimand Moscow and demand that it withdraw its troops within a week of its February 24 invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Next week, the 193-member General Assembly will vote on whether to condemn Moscow’s annexation of four partially occupied regions of Ukraine after holding what it called referendums.

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