Russia: Yevgeny Prigozhin, Vladimir Putin’s Africa machine

By Mathieu Olivier

Posted on Tuesday, 26 April 2022 12:39, updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2022 10:57
According to some experts, Wagner's financier is among the top five wealthiest people in Russia. © DR

A Wagner group financier and the spearhead of Russia's strategy of influence on the continent, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who made his fortune in the restaurant business, is one of the most important oligarchs within Putin's entourage.

Everyone was sworn to secrecy and told that the meeting in Khartoum would never take place. For months, however, secret negotiations took place to plan it. Emissaries flew by helicopter to remote corners of the CAR to draw up outlines. Other meetings were held in Sudan. Each step cost time and money. But the meeting finally took place in August 2018.

The Sudanese intelligence boss, Jamal Aldin Omar, took care of the event. He provided an air-conditioned room out of sight. Ali Darassa, Abdoulaye Hissène, Mahamat al-Khatim and Noureddine Adam, the main leaders of the armed groups challenging the CAR’s President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, were present.

Facing them was a group of white men.