After Mali, the Russian private military company Wagner, is reportedly offering its services to Burkina Faso, a situation which is a cause for concern to Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo.In Washington, where he is attending the U.S.-Africa summit that opened on Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo said Burkina Faso has enlisted the services of Wagner to fight jihadists.
“Today, Russian mercenaries are at our northern border. Burkina Faso has now made an arrangement with Mali for the Wagner forces in that country to intervene in Burkina,” Akufo Addo said while meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday.
The outgoing chairman of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said “a mine in southern Burkina has been awarded the Wagner group as payment for its services”.
For the Ghanaian head of state, “to see Wagner’s mercenaries operating on our border is particularly painful for Ghana.”
He stressed his country’s firm position on the Russian-Ukrainian war.
“Apart from the fact that we do not accept the idea of the great powers making Africa their theater of operation again, we have a particular position, which you know, on the war in Ukraine, where we have been very clear in our condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Therefore, the presence of this group on our borders is a matter of considerable concern and worry for us,” he said.
He said the summit might present “a privileged opportunity to discuss its implications” with U.S. authorities.
The government of Burkina Faso has not yet reacted to the Ghanaian president’s statement.
Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea and Sudan did not receive invites from Washington to attend the US-Africa Summit because they are ruled by military juntas.