Ghana accuses Burkina Faso of paying Wagner mercenaries with mine proceeds

Ghana accuses Burkina Faso of paying Wagner mercenaries with mine proceeds

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he finds it “particularly worrying” that “Wagner mercenaries are at the northern border” of Ghana, operating in neighboring Burkina Faso, and are allegedly being paid with proceeds from a Burkinabe mine.

“Burkina Faso has now made an arrangement to, like Mali, use Wagner forces,” Akufo-Addo said during a meeting in the United States with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “I believe a mine in southern Burkina has been allocated to them as a form of payment for their services.” He alleged that the military government has hired the mercenaries to help fight an insurgency in their country. The government in Ouagadougou declined to comment the allegation that it has “reached an arrangement” with the Russian paramilitary group Wagner. “We have no reaction. I leave him the responsibility for what he said,” the spokesman for the Burkinabe government said.

In several French-speaking African countries, Moscow is conducting an active influence campaign, particularly on social networks, and enjoys growing popular support at a time France, the former colonial power, is increasingly vilified. Several countries accuse the junta in power in Mali of having recourse to the services of Wagner, which is reputed to be close to the Moscow regime, which Bamako denies.

Experts believe that Burkina Faso’s current leader, army captain Ibrahim Traore, is using mercenaries from the shadowy Wagner group to cope with recurrent deadly jihadist attacks since 2015.

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