The president of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso has signed a bilateral agreement with Russia on behalf of his country for the world’s largest nation to send its military experts into the Central African nation. The goal is to repair its Soviet manufactured war equipment.
Since the announcement of the agreement, critics all over the world have called out President Denis Sassou Nguesso for what they say is a foolish move. It's a move that further increases Moscow’s footprint on the African continent.
According to them, it is a poor move considering the fact that Africa is clearly in the age of neo-colonialism and should be doing all it can to reduce foreign presence in the continent, not invite them.
They argued that having military specialists from Russia in Congo will put the security and military intelligence of not just the Republic of Congo at risk, but that of the entire African continent.
After the signing of the documents at the Kremlin in the presence of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and The Republic of Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso, pictures of both leaders were released online.
Although President Denis Sassou Nguesso signed on behalf of his country, President Vladimir Putin did not. Rather, he asked his Deputy Defense Minister, Alexander Fomin to sign the contract for the Russians.
Critics have also said that this further reveals the value placed on Africa by the Russians. Asking a Deputy Defense Minister to sign a bilateral agreement with a President from another country was considered an insult by many.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Alexander Formin said the contract signed with the Republic of Congo was for the maintenance and operation of Soviet-and Russian-made military hardware in the inventory of the African republic.
“The bulk of this military hardware – armored vehicles, soft-skin vehicles, missile, and conventional artillery as well as helicopters among other hardware – can remain in service for a very long time,” he noted.
“Negotiations are underway. We expect to have a request on supplies of new hardware. This republic does have things to defend. It is rich, while the main treasure of any state is its independence and sovereignty,” the Deputy Defence Minister Fomin said.
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Header Image Credit: The Nerve Africa