French President Macron accuses Russia of spreading disinformation in Africa

French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that Moscow is pursuing a ‘predatory project’ to spread influence in African countries.

Russia is using disinformation to advance its “predatory project” in Africa – Macron

Russia is allegedly using disinformation campaigns to advance its “predatory project” in Africa, where France has seen military failures, according to Emmanuel Macron, the Guardian reported.

The French President claimed there was a “predatory initiative” spreading false information into African countries, which was “a political project supported by Russia, occasionally other states”, in an interview with TV5 Monde on the margins of a summit of Francophone countries in Tunisia.

The French president stated that “several states, who want to increase their influence in Africa, are doing this to harm France, undermine its language, raise doubts, but more importantly pursue specific objectives.”

Withdrawal of French troops from Mali

The withdrawal of French troops from Mali was formally announced Earlier this month.

This brings to an end an eight-year French counter-terrorism mission in the west African country.

Russian Wagner presence in Mali

France withdrew its troops when Mali’s army seized power in the country in a coup in 2020 after a deterioration in bilateral ties. To assist in the war against Islamist militants the new leadership engaged the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-affiliated private military company.

Several hundred civilians may have been massacred, according to allegations made against militants for the Wagner militants, an organization managed by a close ally of Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was promoting joining the Wagner group and to go to war in Ukraine in the Russian prisons.

Putin’s ally Prigozhin acknowledged he had created the “Wagner group”

Russia denied the allegations, while Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman who the EU believes is the owner of the Wagner Group, labeled the reports “fakes, and fabrication.” Although Prigozhin later acknowledged he had created the “Wagner battalion,” in May he told the Guardian he had nothing to do with the Wagner Group.

Last year, the Wagner Group and eight of its main members were subject to EU sanctions.

Read also this analysis: Africa – Russia: friendship for convenience – grain and military mercenaries

“Wagner group” accused of violations of human rights in Africa

Following a description of its involvement in serious violations of human rights, including torture and extrajudicial executions, as well as destabilizing actions in nations like Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and the Central African Republic. 

Wagner expands its diabolical influence overseas – EU

This PMC was also “expanding its diabolical influence overseas, particularly in the Sahel region,” according to the EU.

Along with human rights violations, a series of lethal attacks on mines in the lawless border region between Sudan and the Central African Republic was thought to have been carried out by Russian mercenaries Wagner had hired.

“You only have to look at what’s going on in the Central African Republic or elsewhere to see that the Russian project underway there, when France has pushed aside, is a project of predation,” Macron declared.

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