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Musings From Abroad

Congo DR: Wagner founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, accuses France of attempted assassination of Russian official, Dmitry Syty

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The back and forth between world powers and influence in African countries took a new phase as France has been accused of attempting to assassinate the head of a Russian representative office in the Central African Republic.

The head of a Russian private militia accused its European counterpart of the assault on Dmitry Syty who was seriously injured on Friday after opening a mail bomb.

According to the Russian RIA Novosti news agency, the Russian Embassy, Syty, who is head of the “Russian House”, was taken to a hospital in the capital Bangui and by late afternoon his condition was serious but stable.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russian mercenary, the Wagner Group, blamed France for the attack.

The Wagner Group has supported Central African Republic’s (CAR) army since 2018 but gained wider attention with its role in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna during a told journalists a trip to Morocco said the claims were false.

“It’s even a good example of Russian propaganda and the fanciful imagination that sometimes characterises this propaganda,” Colonna said.

Russian Foreign Ministry said the act aimed to “harm the successful development of friendly relations” between Russia and CAR.

Paris and its European allies pulled thousands of troops countering Islamist militants in Mali earlier this year as relations deteriorated with the military junta after it agreed with a deal with Wagner.

Wagner’s relationship with Africa has also been condemned by other international bodies. The EU and the US have both also condemned Mali’s alleged use of Russian-based mercenaries the (Wagner Group) to fight terrorists and alleged attacks on civilians.

Musings From Abroad

Russia’s African influence grows as envoy claims 1,890 ‘instructors’ in Central African Republic

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The Russian ambassador to the Central African Republic, Alexander Bikantov has revealed that the country’s military presence in the insurgency-plagued African country.

Bikantov said in an interview published on Friday that 1,890 “Russian instructors” were present in the country. He mentioned that a focus of operations for the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group mercenary outfit.

“Today, there are 1,890 Russian instructors in the C.A.R.. The government is interested in increasing their number. Relatively recently, Bangui sent the relevant application to the UN Security Council”. Bikantov was quoted by the state-owned news agency RIA.

Russia’s influence among African countries battling insurgency has been on the rise lately, with solidified ties with West African country, Mali and much more recently its neighbours Burkina Faso. Both countries, which are under military dictators have reportedly engaged Russian mercenaries – the Wagner Group in the bid to overcome the uprising in their territories.

There are however reports of likely cases of crimes against humility by the government of Mali in its fight against terrorism in connection with its engagement with the Wagner group.

Although it is mineral-rich, the Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world.

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Musings From Abroad

Israel, Sudan advance talks normalise relations

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Following a transfer of power from the military to a civilian government in Khartoum, Israel, and Sudan have finalized a deal to normalise relations.

The Israeli foreign ministry made the revelation on Thursday, noting that the deal was agreed upon during a visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to “move forward towards normalising relations between the two countries.”

The visit is the first by an Israeli official acknowledged by Sudanese authorities, though there had been a series of exchanges by officials in recent years.

According to a statement by the Israeli foreign ministry, “… the visit, which was made with the consent of the United States, the parties finalised the text of the agreement.”

“The signing ceremony is expected to take place after the transfer of power in Sudan to a civilian government that will be established as part of the ongoing transition process in the country,” it said.

“We definitely look forward to signing the agreement and then to having diplomatic representatives both in Israel and in Sudan,” Lior Haiat, spokesperson for the foreign ministry who took part in the delegation, Cohen told newsmen.

“We are (now) building a new reality with the Sudanese, in which the ‘Three No’s’ will become the ‘Three Yeses’,” he said. “Yes to negotiations between Israel and Sudan, yes to recognition of Israel, and yes to peace between the states and between the peoples.”

In January 2021 Sudan said its then-justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari had signed the Abraham Accords during a visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

A joint statement issued by the governments of Israel, Sudan, and the United States said that “The leaders agreed to the normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations.”

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