Ghana Claims Burkina Faso Paid Russia With A Mine To Fight Local Insurgency

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said that the government of neighboring Burkina Faso gave Russian mercenaries a mine in exchange for assistance in fighting an insurgency in their country. The African leader raised the claims at the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC in a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday.

Akufo-Addo stated that the mine is near Ghana’s northern border with Burkina Faso, which exploited the operation to pay Wagner Group for services done. The organization is a mercenary group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He went on to say that Ghana was particularly concerned about the Wagner Group’s participation because of its criticism of Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“To have them operating on our northern border is particularly distressing for us in Ghana,” he added.

Burkina Faso was not invited to the Washington summit. Recently, the military government in power at Ouagadougou has announced intentions to build a gold refinery in order to halt the export of unrefined gold. The plans include projects to purify gold in the country and amending the mining code to have a better control over natural resources.

According to US estimates, a 1,000-strong mercenary battalion has also been operating in another nearby African country Mali since 2021, assisting the military junta that has been in power there since 2020. The government of Mali has denied the presence of Wagner soldiers.

Akufo-Addo urged the United States to collaborate with the Economic Community of West African States to protect the region’s states from armed organizations that endanger democracy.

“It’s important that we bring that matter to your notice and see to what extent we can engage you as a reliable partner in the pushback of those forces,” he said.

The summit at the Washington is particularly noteworthy for Ghana who recently announced it is carving out a new policy that will switch its mode of payment for oil products from US dollar reserves to gold.

READ: More De-Dollarization? Ghana Unveils Plan to Purchase Crude With Gold Rather Than US Dollars

Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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