The US says Russian mercenaries are exploiting natural resources in the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan to fund Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
Russia has rejected the charge as “anti-Russian rage”, Reuters news agency reports.
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Russia’s shadowy Wagner mercenary group was using the “ill-gotten gains” to “fund Moscow’s war machine in Africa, the Middle East, and Ukraine”.
“Make no mistake: people across Africa are paying a heavy price for the Wagner Group’s exploitative practices and human rights violations,” she told a UN Security Council meeting on the financing of armed groups through illicit trafficking of natural resources.
Russia denies any links to Wagner.
The group has been active in Libya since 2016, where it supported General Khalifa Haftar’s advance on the official government in Tripoli in 2019.
In 2017, the Wagner Group was invited into the Central African Republic (CAR) to guard diamond mines. It is also reported to be working in Sudan, protecting gold mines.