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Silence in Africa over Wagner Boss’ Plane Crash

Russia’s influence in Africa is intertwined with the mercenary activities of the Wagner Group in various countries, particularly in West and Central Africa. But following reports that Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, might have died in a plane crash in Russia, many now wonder if military support from Russia in Africa will remain unchanged. Former Communications Minister Adrien Poussou, who is also the author of the book “Africa Doesn’t Need Putin,” regards Wagner as practically pulling every string in the country now: “President Touadera is a hostage of Wagner, and he knows it,” Poussou told DW. The CAR government has described the idea that it has lost control as “nonsense.” Still, even more measured voices have expressed their concern over the extent of Wagner’s influence — with or without Prigozhin — in CAR: Paul Crescent Beninga, a civil society representative, says that the Wagner Group’s interference in CAR’s internal political affairs has now led to “a point where this undermines the ability of the Central African state to conduct its politics without pressure.”