Dozens if not hundreds of Russian Wagner mercenaries have arrived in the Central African Republic to shore up their client strongman who wants to extend his term in office in a referendum. Wagner has had a strong presence in CAR, propping up President Touadéra’s decrepit regime since 2018. But last month, hundreds of guns-for-hire quietly left the mineral-rich country just before Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted march on Moscow. Those who have thrown in the lot with Wagner in Africa – and there are many – were likely rather nervous at the sight of Rostov city falling to the mercenaries. Did anyone spare a thought for them, those who had come to rely on Wagner for their safety and well-being? What would happen to them if Wagner’s leadership was obliterated in Russia? But the influx of troops shows that the Wagner group’s shady business is almost back to normal.
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