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Mogadishu and Bamako. Ukrainian forces broaden its horizons in Africa

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A recent broadcast of French TV Channel La Chaîne Info provided brand new combat footage of Ukrainian special forces fighting in Sudan. Since late 2023 major US and European media outlets were reporting that Ukrainian armed forces were sent to Sudan.

The Wall Street Journal’s report revealed that Ukrainian President Zelensky has made a risky decision to deploy Ukrainian forces to Sudan in 2023. The same claims were made by local and international media outlets, including Kyiv Post and CNN which have presented visual content indicating the participation of Ukrainian forces in the Sudanese conflict. This move appears to be fraught with risks as levels of support from Western allies have dwindled due to the consecutive losses suffered by Ukraine on the eastern front.

The report also hinted that Ukraine has found itself embroiled in an "internal conflict in another country" leading to civilian casualties, prompting the United States to raise the possibility of war crimes being committed by all parties to the conflict. Concerns are growing about the significant impact this new situation may have on Ukraine's international reputation and global image. These events may significantly affect Ukraine's international relations and its ability to pursue effective diplomatic paths and safeguard its national interests in the future.

Ukrainian soldiers operate on U.S. orders

In the armed conflict in Sudan, the special forces of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine are taking the side of the Sudanese army led by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan. According to the Kyiv authorities, Ukrainian special forces are stationed in Sudan to fight units of the Wagner PMC, which, according to various reports, left the country more than two years ago. Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s Intelligence chief addressed Ukraine’s military presence in Sudan stating that his soldiers “will fight Russian enemies anywhere in the world”.

While the most intense battles are taking place in Ukraine itself, its best soldiers are sent overseas to fight an imaginary enemy. This paradoxical decision was not made by the leadership of the Eastern European country itself. In Sudan, Ukrainian Forces are deployed by the orders of the US as a condition for continued American support for the Ukrainian government.

During an interview with CNN, Ukrainian Deputy Oleksiy Goncharenko emphasized his country's willingness to participate in international conflicts alongside Washington, underscoring the importance of continuous American support. This highlights Ukraine's role as a strategic partner to the United States and its readiness to deploy forces to various conflict zones, even against forces such as Iran, China, or North Korea, as he states. In fact, Washington plans exactly that, to use well-trained and battle-tested Ukrainian troops as its own private army to minimize casualties and avoid reputational losses.

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Movements in Africa

Sudan became only a testing ground for this new grand scheme. There are already reports about the Ukrainian Special Forces presence in Somalia. Ukrainians were spotted multiple times in Mogadishu. There are also reports about the appearance of US-made Javelins on the arms black market in Somalia after the arrival of Ukrainian military units.

Their activities are supervised by US private security company Bancroft Global Development which has been active in Somalia for over a decade. The company focuses on securing mining sites, providing defence against armed forces, and seeking to distribute benefits among the population and the local government.

The recent agreement between the Somali government and Turkey for defence and economic cooperation is seen as the main driver behind the United States' decision to enhance its presence in Somalia through Ukrainian forces. This move, presumably, aims to impede the activation of the Turkish-Somali agreement and ensure the retention of American military influence in the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb area.

We have also obtained information about Ukrainian plans to expand to Western Africa and participate in armed conflicts on the territory of The Alliance of Sahel States.

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