Yevgeny Prigozhin: Wagner to redeploy in Africa

By Benjamin Roger, Emmanuelle Morau

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Posted on July 20, 2023 08:48

Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner Group
Yevgeny Prigozhin in the 24 June Telegram video that followed his abortive putsch. He remained silent until 19 July. ©Handout photo/Telegram/@concordgroup_official/AFP

In a video posted on the Russian mercenary group’s Telegram channel, Prigozhin says his troops are leaving Ukraine to concentrate on Africa.

He had not spoken since 24 June, in the wake of his abortive rebellion against Vladimir Putin’s regime. In a video published on 19 July on the Wagner group’s Telegram channel, Prigozhin announced that his mercenaries would no longer be fighting in Ukraine and would instead be heading for Africa.

“Today, what is happening at the front [we are talking about the command apparatus of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defence] is a disgrace in which we have no part. Now we have to wait for the moment when we can fully prove ourselves. […] That’s why it was decided that we would stay here in Belarus for a while. […] Then we’ll take a new route: Africa,” Prigozhin says.

What will the future hold?

Since its boss dared to defy the master of the Kremlin and his staff, the future of the Wagner group has been the subject of much discussion. Particularly in the African countries where its men are deployed: Libya, Sudan, but especially the Central African Republic and Mali.

Although several hundred mercenaries left Bangui in early July, no similar repatriation has yet taken place in Bamako.

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