Putin’s endgame in Africa: Macron accuses Russia of stoking anti-French sentiment

It was always a stretch. Emmanuel Macron kept the lines of communication open with Vladimir Putin while Russia’s propaganda machine and Wagner’s mercenaries fueled anti-French sentiment in Africa. But in an interview on the sidelines of a francophone summit in Tunisia, it sounds like the gloves are now off.

- Advertisement -

Macron’s comments came ahead of the one-year anniversary of Mali’s junta inviting Wagner to replace French troops fighting jihadist insurgents. A new report shows that attacks have since increased, along with allegations of human rights abuses by the mercenaries.

And yet, many Malians stand by the junta and its baseless claim that the French are somehow in cahoots with the Islamists – a claim that the Russians have picked up on their networks and social media. What is Paris doing? What is Europe doing?

We are now seeing a move by European lawmakers to follow Estonia’s lead and label Wagner and its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin a terrorist organization. What would that change for a Kremlin insider whose stature seems to have risen since the invasion of Ukraine? More broadly, what has changed for people like Mali in the nine months since Putin launched his so-called military operation?

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept

Privacy & Cookies Policy