African leaders over the weekend called for the retreat of all foreign mercenaries from the African continent.
They made the resolution at the 16th extraordinary session of the Conference of African Heads of State and Government on terrorism and anti-constitutional changes in the continent that just ended in Malabo, the Equato-Guinean capital.
The African leaders indicated that “the resurgence of anti-constitutional changes of government, the expansion of the threat of terrorism and violent extremism in the continent, including the influx of foreign terrorist combatants, private military outfits and mercenaries, the proliferation of armed groups as well as organised transnational criminality, have a negative impact on peace, security, stability, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of certain member states”.
They “called for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of foreign terrorist combatants and mercenaries from the continent” and called on the African Union Commission to “accelerate the conclusion of the revision of the Organisation of African Unity Convention on mercenaries”.
The African leaders also “firmly condemned foreign interference in the internal affairs of Africa and called on all external actors to stop their support to terrorist groups in the continent”.
Diplomatic observers see the reference to foreign mercenaries and private military outfits as being directed at the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group who have been spreading their tentacles to a number of African countries recently.
There are Russian mercenaries in the Central African Republic, —whom the Russian government says are in the country to train the national army— Mali, and Burkina Faso.
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