Burkina Faso summons Ghana envoy over president Akufo Addo’s claim on Wagner

Burkina Faso summoned the Ghanaian ambassador on Friday to express its “disapproval” after Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said that Ouagadougou had “made an arrangement” with the Russian paramilitary group Wagner.

“The Minister Delegate in charge of Regional Cooperation, Karamoko Jean Marie Traoré expressed the disapproval of the Burkinabè government towards these declarations of the Head of State of Ghana”, indicates a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These statements are “serious and inaccurate”, added a government source interviewed by AFP, who specified that the Burkinabè ambassador stationed in Accra has also been recalled for consultations. The information was confirmed by a Ghanaian government source.

On Wednesday, during an interview in the United States with the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo assured that Burkina Faso had “concluded an arrangement to, like Mali, employ forces of Wagner”.

“I believe that a mine in the south of Burkina was allocated to them as a form of payment for their services” , he added, specifying that according to him “the Russian mercenaries are on the northern border” of Ghana.

During his meeting with the minister, the Ghanaian ambassador, Boniface Gambila Adagbila , assured that the words of his president “were not intended to condemn Burkina Faso, nor to sow doubt in people’s minds”, according to the account- minutes of the meeting, published by the Burkinabè Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The intention was above all to attract the attention of partners in order to arouse great interest in Burkina Faso”, added the ambassador, quoted in the press release.

In response, Minister Traoré considered that “Ghana could have undertaken exchanges with the Burkinabè authorities on the security issue in order to have the right information”.

In several French-speaking African countries, Moscow is leading an active campaign of influence, particularly on social networks and enjoys growing popular support when France, a former colonial power, is increasingly reviled there.

Several countries accuse the junta in power in Mali of using the services of Wagner, reputed to be close to the Moscow regime, which Bamako denies.

The question of a possible rapprochement with Russia has also arisen in Burkina Faso since the September 30 coup, the second in eight months, which brought Captain Ibrahim Traoré to power, while the country is struggling to cope. to recurrent deadly jihadist attacks since 2015.

On Monday, Burkinabe Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyélem de Tembela met in Moscow with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov to discuss “priority issues for strengthening relations” between the two countries, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. foreign.

Asked about this trip, the Burkinabè government spokesman declined to comment. Mr. Kyélem de Tembela said at the end of October that he did not rule out re-examining his country’s “relations” with Russia.

“We will try, as much as possible, to diversify our partnership relations until we find the right formula for the interests of Burkina Faso. But there will be no question of letting ourselves be dominated by a partner, whoever he is”, had – he says mid-November.