It remains to be seen

Russia-Africa: Are Wagner’s mercenaries really effective?

By Mathieu Olivier

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Posted on February 25, 2022 10:04


Wagner’s men, who were present in Libya, the CAR and Mozambique in recent years, have been in the Malian theatre for the past three months. Although they have aroused some people’s enthusiasm, have they proved their know-how?

At the beginning of January 2021, the Coalition des Patriotes pour le Changement (CPC, an alliance made up of Central African armed groups) was feeling optimistic. The rebellion’s leaders, notably Noureddine Adam and Ali Darassa, claimed that they were at the gates of Bangui and could overthrow President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s government. Their troops were suffocating the capital and controlling the main access roads, particularly the one linking the city to Cameroon, which was a vital artery for supplying the people of Bangui. They said that victory was only a matter of time.

However, Bangui did not fall. “President Touadéra knew he could count on Rwandan soldiers’ support and especially on Wagner’s mercenaries, who already numbered over a thousand. They loosened the stranglehold and pushed back the CPC fighters,” says a security source in Bangui. Alongside the “Russian” allies

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