Activities of UN peacekeeping missions and the Wagner Group in Africa
UN peacekeeping missions in Africa operate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), South Sudan (UNMISS), Western Sahara (MINURSO), Abyei (UNISFA), Mali (MINUSMA) and the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Over 70,000 soldiers and personnel operate according to strict guidelines and cannot ensure the civilian population’s sufficient security, stability and protection. UN missions are overwhelmed by the increasing violence and limited scope for action under their mandates. The “blue helmets” are not allowed to use measures of last resort, for example, except in self-defence or defence of a mandate. In Mali, citizens turned against the UN peacekeeping mission, accusing it of escalating tensions, and the head of the local foreign ministry officially called on the UN to withdraw its forces immediately.
What will be the repercussions for Africa of the failed Russian mercenary revolt of the Wagner Group, which has several thousand fighters and runs a lucrative business there? In the Central African Republic, the Wagner Group trades minerals and raw materials from conflict regions, such as diamonds, gold, oil, uranium and timber, and produces beer and vodka. M-Invest, a mining company linked to Prigozhin, operates in Sudan, and its subsidiary, Meroe Gold, is one of Africa’s largest gold producers. In Libya, Wagner mercenaries are stationed around crucial oil facilities, opening Russia’s gateway to Africa. In Mali, gold deposits and the establishment of Russia’s influence in West African countries arouse interest.