Monday , June 17 2024

DR Congo Army Denies Using Russian Mercenaries

In response to claims made by a rebel group, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s army has denied the existence of soldiers from Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group in the nation.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced as a result of the instability in eastern DR Congo. The army has been battling to contain the M23 rebel group, which has recently gained large swaths of territory in the country’s east.

According to allegations, Russian mercenaries have arrived in North Kivu province at the government’s request to assist in dealing with the rebel organisation.

“It is true, Wagner Group is here. We have evidence that we will show in due time,” M23 spokesperson Willy Ngoma told the BBC on Wednesday.

He claimed that they had engaged a joint squad of the Congolese army and mercenaries last week in the Rutshuru area’s Tongo and Nyamilima fronts. However, army spokesman Major General Sylvain Ekenge has disputed the allegations.

DR Congo Army Denies Using Russian Mercenaries (spadetv.africa)

“The Wagner group is not operating in DR Congo,” he said.

Russian mercenaries have a presence in DR Congo’s northern neighbor, Central African Republic, where they fought rebels in 2021. Last October, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi told a meeting in London that he would not use Russian mercenaries to deal with the country’s rebel activity.

The Wagner Group, also known as PMC Wagner, is a Russian paramilitary group that has been variously described as a private military company (PMC), a network of mercenaries, or Russian President Vladimir Putin’s de facto private army.

The Wagner Group is speculated to be employed by the Russian government to provide plausible deniability in certain conflicts, as well as to conceal the number of casualties and financial expenses of Russia’s international involvement from the public.

 

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