Yevgeny Prigozhin: Wagner boss says activities to continue in Africa


The head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, says they will continue to fight in African countries where they are already present.

Ever since Mr Prigozhin mounted a failed mutiny in Russia last month and was banished to Belarus, there have been questions over Wagner’s future.

“There was no, and there will be no, reduction in our programmes in Africa,” Mr Prigozhin told Afrique Média TV.

BBC Verify has analysed the audio and confirms it is Mr Prigozhin’s voice.

He did not appear on camera during the interview with Afrique Média, which is a pro-Kremlin news channel that targets French-speaking African countries and has been linked to the Wagner group.

Mr Prigozhin’s soldiers are embedded in countries including Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR) – where rights groups and the UN accuse them of committing war crimes.

Wagner fighters are also accused by the US of enriching themselves with illicit gold deals on the continent.

But Mr Prigozhin insists their work is of a different nature.

“We continue to work in all the countries where we started or are now doing this work of co-operation and development,” he told Afrique Média TV.

“If the assistance of the Wagner Group is needed anywhere to combat gangs and terrorists and to protect the interests of the people of these countries, we are ready to begin immediately to fulfil this task after agreeing on the conditions.”

The Wagner boss’ comments echo those of Russia’s foreign minister, who has said that despite recent events, Wagner and Russia were in Africa to stay.

CAR's president on the campaign trail in December with suspected Wagner bodyguards

Getty Images

Related Topics

  • Russia
  • Mali

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