Friday, May 24, 2024

Sudan: Wagner-Linked Officials in Mali, Sudan, CAR Targeted in New Wave of UK Sanctions

Harare — The British government imposed sanctions on 13 people and organizations in the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, and Sudan with ties to the Wagner paramilitary group in Russia, Al Jazeera reports.

This includes one it referred to be the “right-hand man” of the group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin.

According to the British government, Wagner officials have been put to its list and are being held accountable for torture, killings in Mali and the CAR, and threats to the stability of Sudan.

The sanctions come only weeks after Prigozhin’s failed rebellion in Russia, which prompted concerns about Wagner’s future military and economic operations in African nations such as CAR.

“Wherever Wagner operates, it has a catastrophic effect on communities, worsens existing conflicts and damages the reputations of countries that host them,” the Minister for Development and Africa for the UK, Andrew Mitchell, said.

Others who received sanctions were Ivan Maslov, the leader of the Wagner Group in Mali, Vitaly Perfilov in the CAR, and Alexander Maloletko, whom they described as Prigozhin’s close ally.

Mikhail Potepkin, who the UK stated was connected to the Wagner Group and served as a director of the mining firm Meroe Gold, was added to the Sudanese list.

The government claimed to have sanctioned three companies in Sudan, including Meroe Gold, for serving as fronts for the Wagner Group and undermining peace and security. Meroe Gold, according to the report, has imported military trucks, helicopters, and weaponry.

Wagner mercenaries are active in several African countries, including Central African Republic and Mali.

In the Central African Republic, for example, 1,890 so-called “Russian instructors” are supporting government troops in the ongoing civil war, according to the Russian ambassador. The latest report from The Sentry reveals that “systematic efforts by Russia to undercut democracy in Africa have inhibited democratic development in two dozen African countries.”