How the West can kill the Wagner virus


Fighters from the Russian private military company Wagner Group stationed in the Central African Republic (CAR) withdrew after the group’s founder launched an attempted mutiny in Russia last month. But Wagner has returned to CAR ahead of the country’s constitutional referendum on July 30, Reuters reports (HT: CFR).

Without stronger action, state capture in Africa and beyond will spread as the group mutates, according to George Clooney, co-president of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, and John Prendergast, co-founder of The Sentry:

There is great unfulfilled promise in going after those benefiting from Wagner’s ultra-violent plunder, from the companies owning the mines to the facilitators in neighbouring states, the Gulf and Russia. Not only would such an approach weaken a large cog in Russia’ s colonial looting machine, but it would also disincentivise African kleptocracies and the transnational networks that support them from entering into or maintaining such exploitative relationships.

It is time to create a measure of accountability for this brutal model of state capture, and to actively counter its expansion. No matter how the Wagner threat mutates, the international community can make its future clear, they write for The Economist.

CFR’s William Rampe explores what Wagner is doing in Africa.

The United States Institute of Peace hosts a discussion on “Russia in Africa: The Wagner Group, Russia-Africa Summit and Beyond.” Panelists: Joseph Siegle, director of research at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies; Amaka Anku, director of the Eurasia Group’s Africa Practice and a former Penn Kemble Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); and Catrina Doxsee, associate director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Transnational Threats Project.

9:30 a.m. July 19, 2023. Venue: USIP, 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. RSVP

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