A top general overseeing US military operations in Africa, General Thomas Waldhauser, said that Russia was using mercenaries and arms sales in order to obtain the much coveted access to Africa's natural resources.
Now, do not be misled yet. One may think that the United States may be raising genuine concerns over the state of African resources, when the truth is that America is worried by Russia's infiltration in the continent. The US admire a position where they have much of the access to African resources more than any other country.
The General, who is the commander of US Africa Command revealed his concerns to the Senate Armed Services Committee by means of a prepared testimony.
"Some African leaders readily embrace this type of support and use it to consolidate their power and authority. This is occurring in the Central African Republic where elected leaders mortgage mineral rights -- for a fraction of their worth -- to secure Russian weapons," he wrote.
His point was stressing on the issue of Russia desiring massive influence in the continent. It is quite obvious that the United States could be worried with the rise of Russia in Africa, considering that China has made considerable moves on the continent. American influence may be on the wane, and hence the concerns.
"I would just point to the Central African Republic right now where the Wagner group has about 175 trainers, where some of the individuals are actually in the President's cabinet and they're influencing the training as well as the same time having access to minerals in that part of the country," Waldhauser said, making reference to Russian military contracting firm that has been linked to operations in Syria.
This is yet another case of the foreign superpowers tussling over the control and dominance of African resources. Russia's influence in the Central African Republic has markedly increased.
Waldauser wrote, "With minimal investment, Russia leverages private military contractors, such as the Wagner Group, and in return receive political and economic influence beneficial to them."
It is evident that America may be losing sleep over waning influence in Africa, as revealed by the general's comments on the elections in the DRC. "Recently in the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where Joseph Kabila just went out of office, one of his opponents said the Chinese bring the money and the Russians bring the muscle."
Africa's sovereignty is always at the mercy of these superpowers and they have little regard for the welfare of the inhabitants of the African continent. Perhaps, no regard at all. The general's concerns are a smokescreen so that sympathy falls to the side of America, and in doing that, their hopes of regaining much of the control of African resources are ignited. America is probably incensed by Russia and China having increased influence on the continent. Africa is certainly a pawn in the games for world dominance among the world's superpowers who are often devoid of any care for what happens to the people of Africa.
"Russia is more deliberate in Libya as they invoke Gadhafi -era relationships and debts to obtain economic and military contracts," Waldhauser said, referring to the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi who was removed from power in a NATO-backed military interference in 2011.
"These agreements are aimed at accessing Libya's vast oil market, reviving arms sales, and gaining access to coastal territories on the Mediterranean Sea, providing Russia closer access to Europe's southern border," Waldhauser said.
It's just about them. It's about who has the access to strip Africa of her glory vested in her precious and abundant natural resources.
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Header image credit: OZY