US Deputy Representative to the United Nations Richard Mills Tuesday accused the Russian-backed paramilitary organization Wagner group of exacerbating instability in West Africa in a statement given to the UN Security Council.
Accusing the Wagner group of violating human rights, Mills stated:
The Kremlin-backed Wagner Group is interfering in African countries’ internal affairs, robbing them of their resources, committing human rights abuses, and endangering the safety and security of peacekeepers and UN personnel. Its presence and operations are not only failing to address the immediate violent extremist threat, but actually increasing the likelihood violent extremism will grow.
Mills also expressed concern regarding recent human rights abuses and resistance to UN peacekeeping missions in Burkina Faso and Mali respectively.
Details emerged in January 2022 regarding the deployment of Russian Wagner Group mercenaries in Mali. Their deployment was speculated to be connected to the government’s ongoing conflict with Jihadist groups. Western countries issued a joint statement that condemned the “choice of the Malian transitional authorities to use already scarce public funds to pay foreign mercenaries instead of supporting the Malian Armed Forces.”
The Wagner Group is a private military company allegedly backed by Russia that provides mercenary services to Russian-allied governments. It has been accused of committing multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity in many conflict-ridden regions such as the Central African Republic, Ukraine, Mali, and Syria.