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Whose Troops Should be in Africa?

The United States has accused Kremlin-backed Russian military contractors of interfering in the internal affairs of African countries and “increasing the likelihood that violent extremism will grow” in the Sahel region, which is facing increasing attacks, an allegation Russia denied. US Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills lashed out at the Wagner Group at a UN Security Council meeting on West Africa and the Sahel on Tuesday. Britain’s Deputy Ambassador James Kariuki cited the deterioration of security in Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin, and the fear of instability spreading to West African coastal countries. “You cannot ignore the destabilising role the Wagner Group plays in the region. They are part of the problem, not the solution,” he told the council. The group is run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and its mercenaries are accused by Western countries and UN experts of numerous human rights abuses throughout Africa, including in the Central African Republic, Libya and Mali.