How Russian mercenaries colluded with Khartoum regime to exploit Sudan's gold

AFP - ADRIANE OHANESIAN

An investigation has found evidence that the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary force with ties to the Kremlin, colluded with political and military powers in Sudan to exploit the country's gold.

The Wagner Group was founded in 2014 by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a prominent Russian dissident living in exile in the UK, Prigozhin's influence with Putin is on a par with that of senior Kremlin ministers like defence chief Sergei Shoigu or Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister.

Prigozhin's mercenaries have been accused of murder and war crimes in operations around the world.

This week, lawyers in London launched a case accusing the Wagner Group of terrorist acts in Ukraine. The group allegedly engaged in a campaign that included murder, rape, the targeting of infrastructure and the planting of explosives around nuclear facilities.

Sudan connection

A report by the US-based non-profit Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) now details group activities in Sudan, where it is alleged that the Wagner Group funnelled resources to regime forces in exchange for privileged access to the country's lucrative gold mining industry.

Sudan is Africa's third-largest gold producer, behind Ghana and South Africa.


Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Sudan's military coup leader promises rapid return to civilian rule
Former Russian mercenary lifts lid on secretive Wagner Group
Nine people killed in mass protests against army rule in Sudan