The Russian PMC, Wagner Group, has been operating in Africa, primarily in the Sahel, since 2017, providing its clients with security services and direct military support as well as pushing Kremlin propaganda lines. Wagner is involved in mining and other extractive economic activities and has been implicated in human rights violations. The death of Wagner's CEO, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a plane crash near Moscow, leaves the status of
the mercenary group in doubt. Clarissa Rodio, an expert on private military companies, joins Africa Program chair Charles Ray to discuss Wagner's future in Africa, in particular the possibility of its presence in Niger following the military takeover in that country, and the implications of countries like Mali and Niger, state parties to the 1977 OAU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa, making use of Wagner in their
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Clarissa Rodio - Clarissa Rodio is a Barrister practising in London, England. She developed experience in international criminal law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and has dealt with matters before international courts, including the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.
Clarissa’s research field primarily focuses on mercenaries and private military contractors (PMCs), in particular the Wagner Group and their activities in Ukraine and Africa.
Charles A. Ray - Charles A. Ray, a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Africa Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Zimbabwe.