China And Wagner In Africa: Friends Or Foes?

JOHANNESBURG — China’s “friendship without limits” with Russia may be tested in Africa, where Beijing’s long-established economic interests are at risk of clashing with the growing footprint of Moscow’s paramilitary Wagner Group.

The most recent point of potential friction is Niger, where leaders of a July 26 military coup are reported by The Associated Press to have reached out to Wagner for help in cementing their hold on power.

That news is unlikely to have been welcomed in Beijing, where a foreign ministry spokesman last week described the deposed president, Mohamed Bazoum, as “a friend of China” and said the country hoped for a political solution to the crisis.

The diverging interests extend far beyond Niger as the Wagner Group expands its reach across the Sahel, often exchanging its security services for access to the region’s rich mineral deposits and other resources.

Niger, for example, is among the world’s largest producers of Uranium.


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Readers Bureau, Contributor

 Edited by Jesus Chan

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