Russia set to expand military power to Africa with echoes of Cold War

 

VLADIMIR Putin is ready to send additional military advisers to the war-torn Central African Republic as he seeks to extend his sphere of influence outside Eurasia.

Russia is prepared to increase the number of military instructors based in the country, embroiled in a six-year civil war, in a move which has striking parallels with the Soviet Union’s Cold War expansionist policy. Mikhail Bogdanov, the country’s Africa

representative and deputy foreign minister said: "It all depends on the will of the country’s government, of its legitimate authorities. "When we have the opportunity, we always respond to requests. “I am talking about cooperation in the sphere of security. "So I am not ruling that out. “If there is a need for more, there will be more.” The deputy foreign minister also claimed it would be easy to coordinate such a move with the United Nations. He said: "There is an agreed framework, some restrictions, but we act in accordance with our obligations.” In March, Moscow responded to a request by Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra for military and technical aid by dispatching five military and 170 civilian instructors to train the country’s servicemen. Mr Bogdanov said Russia was ready to take additional steps to “contribute to political settlement” in the Central African Republic, in full coordination with the country’s authorities. He said: “Yes, certainly we are ready to assist the political settlement. “We took part in a number of meetings, which were held in Khartoum, there is the so-called Khartoum Declaration.

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“We contributed to the success of this meeting, our representatives attended it.” A subsequent statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry added: “We hope that the US will reconsider their approaches standing in the way of Russia’s request at the UN Security Council 2127 on the issue of delivering a second batch of military equipment to the Central African Republic. “This will help continue the work on reestablishing control of the CAR’s legitimate powers on the whole territory of the country in the interest of establishing lasting peace and security in this African state." The civil war erupted in 2012, when the Seleka coalition, which consists mainly of Muslims from the north of the country, took control of Bangui, toppling President Francois Bozize. Faustin-Archange Touadera Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera (Image: GETTY) Christians and followers of traditional African religions set up the Anti-balaka militia groups, which began targeting Muslims. The United Nations estimates more than 6,000 people have been killed in the fighting so far killed in the crisis. Africa was seen as an important “battleground” during the Cold War. The Soviets gave military support to the communist governments of Angola and Mozambique, as well as the African National Congress in South Africa. source: express

 

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