29.2 C
City of Banjul
Saturday, September 23, 2023

Taal tells AU, Ecowas stop Wagner Group in Africa

image 39

By Omar Bah

The main opposition UDP spokesperson, Almami Fanding Taal, has urged the African Union and Ecowas to, as a matter of urgency, address the growing presence of the Wagner Group, a Russian private security group in the continent.

The Wagner Group has established operations in several African countries, including Mali, the Central African Republic, Mozambique, and Libya and many of its operations focus on security issues, often providing security services and paramilitary assistance and launching disinformation campaigns for troubled regimes in exchange for resource concessions and diplomatic support.

But according to Mr Taal, the continued silence of Ecowas and the African Union about the presence of a mercenary group in 11 African countries fermenting and supporting military rule in Africa exclusively servicing authoritarian and military governments is “worrying”.

“It is very worrisome that Africa is the only continent where an armed military private mercenary group can freely negotiate and comfortably stay in war torn countries, countries that are in transition, or countries where law and order have broken down,” he said.

Taal said regional organisations such as Ecowas should not, under any circumstances, allow any inch of the West African region to be occupied by foreign mercenaries like the Wagner Group.

“It is indeed baffling to see that some of these authoritarian and undemocratic governments exchange their natural resources and expend meagre revenues to pay for the services of foreign mercenaries.

This is particularly galling to see on the 60th anniversary of the African Union and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“African leaders continue to fail our people and fail to build the institutions that are necessary to make life better for the citizens. The African integration project must be taken seriously by regional integration bodies such as Ecowas,” he added.

He said the insurgency in the Sahel and the existential threats from the likes of Boko Haram must be dealt with as a regional threat, adding that Ecowas, as the regional body, must put in place strategies and mechanisms to degrade and destroy this insurgency in the Sahel once and for all.

“To allow the presence of a mercenary army such as the Wagner Group is further endangering peace and security in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. It’s time our leaders took their responsibilities seriously. From early indications, the new Chairman of Ecowas, President Tinubu of Nigeria, has made it abundantly clear that there will be no tolerance for an unconstitutional change of government in West Africa.

“In my view, Ecowas should come up with a strategy to bind all member states by treaty obligation to never welcome or entertain mercenaries on any part of ECOWAS territories. To further strengthen this obligation, the United Nations Security Council must come up with a resolution prohibiting the presence of mercenary groups on African soil. Given the number of states in conflict and the large number of poor and fragile states in Africa,” Taal concluded. 

Join The Conversation
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -
[td_block_1 custom_title="Latest Stories" f_header_font_transform="uppercase" ajax_pagination="next_prev" block_template_id="td_block_template_2" f_header_font_family="521" f_header_font_weight="900" m4f_title_font_family="521" m4f_title_font_weight="700" m4f_cat_font_family="" m4f_meta_font_family="662" m6f_title_font_family="521" m6f_title_font_weight="600" m6f_meta_font_family="662" m6f_cat_font_family="662" m4f_ex_font_family="662"]