State of emergencies exist across the globe—Ukraine, Iran, Haiti, Burkina Faso, and even here in New York City, according to Mayor Adams. Obviously, the chaotic situations vary in cause and alarm, and several have international implications.
Perhaps least understood is the ongoing tumult in Burkina Faso, where after a recent coup, demonstrators in the streets of Ouagadougou, the capital, were seen waving Russian flags. The Russian connection to this West African nation is to some degree explained by comments from a former Russian adviser who stated, “Our people helped the new leader…Another African country will move from cooperation with France to an alliance with Russia.”
One reliable resource on connecting the dots from Russia to West Africa is U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield. At the core of this issue, she says, is a group of Russian mercenaries who help to facilitate the flow of natural resources in the Central African Republic, Mali and Sudan, to support Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
The Wagner Group, founded by a Russian oligarch Yeveny Prigozhin, a close associate of Putin, is the mercenaries targeted by Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “Rather than being a transparent partner and improving security,” she said during a recent U.N. Security Council briefing, “Wagner exploits client states who pay for their heavy-handed security services in gold, diamonds, timber, and other natural resources—this is part of the Wagner Group’s business model. We know these ill-gotten gains are used to fund Moscow’s war machine in Africa, the Middle East, and Ukraine.” Russia has repeatedly stated that they have no relationship with the Wagner Group.
Placed in historical terms, support for the Russians is clearly a rejection of France, the European colonialists who for many years dominated the political and economic control of the country. Adding further complexity to the turmoil in Burkina Faso is the ongoing struggle with jihadist factions, who are claimed to menace everyday life in the nation.
What it boils down to is the juntas in West Africa will go along with the mercenaries who seem to be more effective in stifling the jihadist violence.
Mayor Adams you have a problem but it pales in comparison to the one in Burkina Faso, but is no less troubling.
As we have said on many occasions, there is a vital connection between global and domestic problems, especially as they ramify politically and economically. And the plight and flight of immigrants whether from Ukraine or Central America seeking asylum may soon be a larger problem to remedy.