Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Will Chinese Private Security Companies Replace the Wagner Group in Africa?

 The Diplomat published on 24 June 2023 a commentary titled "Will China's Private Security Companies Follow the Wagner Group's Footsteps in Africa?" by Jong Min Lee, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Samuel Wittman, George Washington University.

The authors point out that unlike the mercenary Wagner Group, the major focus of Chinese private security companies (PSCs) in Africa has been to provide security for Chinese SOEs, making use of local paramilitaries and militias.  But gradually, as opportunities open in the retreat of Wagner forces, China is likely to utilize PSCs as a tool to expand its military and political influence in Africa.

Comment:  Even if Russia's Wagner Group forces begin leaving Africa, it is not likely that Chinese PSCs will attempt to implement a similar model; they will likely remain focused on protecting Chinese interests, albeit also expanding Chinese influence on the continent.