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 Russische voetafdruk in Afrika infographic
Graphic shows the Kremlin’s expanding influence in Africa.


Ruslands groeiende voetafdruk in Afrika

By Duncan Mil

June 10, 2024 - Russia is emerging as the security partner of choice for an increasing number of African governments, displacing traditional allies like France and the United States.

Led by Russia, international players have found opportunities to enhance their influence by supporting emergent regimes and the new power brokers, exploiting the region’s growing wave of discontent with the West.

Over the past three years, Moscow has supported a wave of coups d’état in seven countries in Africa’s Sahel region, extending from Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean to Sudan on the Red Sea. Military coups succeeded in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, and Gabon. At the same time, three other nations—Tunisia, Chad, and Sudan—had “constitutional coups” -- removal of the legitimate government with an illegal authority, bypassing the popular will of the people.

In return for security assistance for African coup leaders, Moscow gains access to minerals, oil and other resources.

According to an EU parliament study, Moscow has secured access to gold and diamonds in the Central African Republic, cobalt in Congo, gold and oil in Sudan, chromite in Madagascar, platinum and diamonds in Zimbabwe, and uranium in Namibia.

Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger forced French and other Western forces to leave. Most recently, Niger ordered American troops to vacate their sprawling Agadez Air Base 201 in March this year. Paris entirely withdrew its soldiers from Niger in December.

PUBLISHED: 10/06/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images