Burkina Faso To Receive Further Russian Military Assistance and Instructors

Baya Osborn Osborn Baya (X.com and Policurate.com) from Kenya writes about Conflicts and Security Studies in the World of Politics. "In an era of rapidly changing global dynamics, staying informed and engaging in insightful discussions is crucial to navigating the complex world of international relations." Feel free to support Baya on PayPal or Buymeacoffee.
publicerad 21 juni 2024
- Osborn Baya
Wagnergruppen i Afrika, september 2023. Foto: Wagner PMC, Telegram
Wagnergruppen i Afrika, september 2023.

According to Russian official media, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated recently that Russia would be sending more military equipment and trainers to Burkina Faso. This is to assist the West African nation in reinforcing its defenses and combating terrorism.

Burkina Faso has been a long-time target of terrorism and insurgency affecting the Sahel region and internal problems such as coups and military rule.

Since a military coup in 2022, Burkina Faso has served as a base for Wagner mercenary forces. The creator Yevgeny Prigozhin perished in an aircraft crash in August of last year.

In a recent article I stated on 9 th October 2023 Burkina Faso’s Security is a Priority, not Elections:

Burkinabe’s Spiralling Security and Significant Assistance offered by Wagner

”The country’s spiralling security situation justifies the interim government to keep on with the protection of its borders. It has focused on responding to attacks by affiliates of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

With Traore, efforts have been made to regain territory and improve security, which are yielding results. It has undertaken a massive recruitment drive for the Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP), a civilian force that supports the military.

The force has been of massive assistance in combating the insurgency that is ravaging the country.

The country is at war and certain factors make it almost impossible to counter the situation. However, the Russians, through Wagner PMC, have offered immense support to the army.”

”From the very first contacts between our countries after President (Ibrahim) Traoré came to power, we have been very closely engaged in all areas of cooperation, including the development of military and military-technical ties”, TASS news agency cited Lavrov as saying during a visit to Burkina Faso.

”I have no doubt that thanks to this cooperation, the remaining pockets of terrorism on the territory of Burkina Faso will be destroyed,” he told a press conference in the capital Ouagadougou.


Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Lavrov has traveled to several countries in Africa as Russia, which is subject to Western sanctions, looks for new trading partners and tries to unite developing nations behind its vision of a ”multipolar world” in which the US and former European colonial powers are not in charge.

During Moscow’s special operation in Ukraine, Russia is attempting to strengthen support from the area. Growing dissatisfaction with longstanding Western allies like France and the US has been voiced by some African nations recently.

“Russian instructors have been working here and their number will increase,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia has been helping train Burkina Faso’s military and law enforcement personnel. “We have supplied and will continue to supply military equipment to help strengthen Burkina Faso’s defence capability and allow it to eliminate the remaining terrorist groups.”

The U.S. and other Western governments are concerned about growing Russian security links with Africa, particularly nations like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger where military coups have taken place. Lavrov said he appreciated the “objective and fair” position of Burkina Faso on the war in Ukraine.

“For our part, we are ready to provide our support for the just cause of Africans who are trying to free themselves from neo-colonial influence.”

Separately, on Wednesday, the RIA news agency revealed that negotiations for a bauxite mining concession are underway between the government of Sierra Leone and Russian aluminum company Rusal. Rusal already operates in Guinea, Sierra Leone’s neighbor.

Given Burkina Faso’s declining financial support from Western sources, Russia’s help is especially important.

The remarks were made by Sierra Leone’s minister of mining while attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The leading Russian diamond manufacturer Alrosa was also reportedly arranging negotiations with Sierra Leone, though no specifics were given by RIA.

It’s quite significant for Russia to provide this assistance to Burkina Faso. This is because Western governments have been withdrawing financial aid from Burkina Faso and other countries in the Sahel, a region encompassing states on the fringes of the Sahara Desert, contributing to the vicious circle of poverty, violence, and extremism.

Russian officials emphasize how eager they are to support nations that want to strengthen their barriers against external threats and terrorism.

The increasing level of Russian participation in Burkina Faso also highlights more significant geopolitical changes as Russia looks to forge closer ties with nations that have historically supported the West. Additionally, Russia’s engagement in commercial endeavors, such as discussions for mining concessions in Sierra Leone, further enhances its presence and influence in the African continent.

Given Burkina Faso’s declining financial support from Western sources, Russia’s help is especially important. This underscores the complex connection between geopolitical objectives, economic development, and security in the Sahel.


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Tags: Burkina Faso