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Wagner Group in Central African Republic (CAR): Reference Note

C/O Futures PMC/Mercenary Research Note Series Lisa J. Campbell 16 July 2023


Since 2017, Russia has been building and strengthening a presence in the Central African Republic (CAR) to push an aggressive agenda utilizing an array of geopolitical, military, economic and criminal means to achieve its end. Russia has employed and empowered the private military company (PMC) Wagner Group from its earliest relationship-building with the CAR government. The Russia-Wagner entry into CAR coincided with the withdrawal of the French and US presence, which helped to enable the Wagner Group to take full advantage of the country at all levels of governance. This approach by Wagner included embedding itself into most institutions and influencing the culture. While not without setbacks from opposition forces that still control much of the country, the relative ease of the takeover and the disproportionate economic benefits afforded to Wagner by the CAR government indicate a long-term future presence of Russia and its use of PMCs in the country.


The Wagner Group in CAR Final Campbell
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