reuters According to a Libyan official, during a meeting in Benghazi-Libya on 22 August, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov told Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the eastern Libyan region, that Wagner forces had captured Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the eastern Libyan region, on 22 August. Told to Haftar “will report to a new commander”.
On 23 August, owner Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin died following a plane crash in the Tver region of Russia.
Jalel Harchoui, a Libya researcher at the Royal United Services Institute, said Mr Yevkurov’s visit showed Russia’s influence in Libya could deepen and expand, not shrink.
Now, there is concern about Wagner’s fate after the plane crash described above. Wagner fought major skirmishes in Ukraine, participated in conflicts in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Mali, while taking control of gold and oil fields along the way.
Wagner troops on tanks in the Southern Military District of Russia. Photo: Anadolu
Since the Wagner uprising in Russia in June, the Ukrainian-based force of the private military company has handed over a base to the Russian regular army and moved to a military camp in Belarus.
Meanwhile, in Africa, Wagner could put the force under new management or have it taken over by another group of Russian mercenaries, according to reports. reuters,
Mr. John Lechner, a researcher in America who is writing a book about Mr. Prigozhin, said: “Wagner is an ongoing company. There are contracts and this is the business that needs to continue. From a reputational point of view, ( Wagner) will try to pretend that everything is going on as normal and that they are still partners.”
After the June Uprising, Mr. Prigozhin worked to strengthen Wagner’s presence in Africa. In a video released earlier this week, he declared: “Wagner makes Russia great on all continents and Africa more free.”
In countries where Wagner operates through formal agreements with Moscow, analysts do not expect much change, at least for the time being.
In Libya, Russia has no formal military role and cannot intervene directly without violating a UN arms embargo, so Moscow’s influence there must still be through Wagner or a similar organization.
In the Central African Republic, Fidele Goundjika, political advisor to President Faustin-Archange Toudera, described “the death of Mr. Prigozhin” as “a great sadness”.
reuters The future of Wagner’s assets is difficult to determine, and there is no information about Avro Polis, a company believed to be run by Wagner that owns oil assets in Syria.
Little is known about how much Wagner earns from mining and logging businesses in the Central African Republic and other African countries. But it would be difficult for Russia to try to control these assets or hand them over to another contractor.