As men are being slaughtered on all sides in a grinding war of attrition for the control of destroyed Ukrainian cities, the new Cold War between Russia and the West is being played out on another front — Africa.
On 7 December 2022, a 12-member delegation from Burkina Faso led by Prime Minister Apollinaire Joachim Kyélem de Tambèla embarked on a highly secretive trip to Moscow.
Only after questions were raised about the absence of so many of its top officials from Ouagadougou did the government put out a statement saying that the prime minister had flown to Moscow “on a private visit”. No mention was made of the four high-ranking military officers, four ministers and three civil servants who accompanied him on this “private” visit — nor what had sent them on such a weighty mission.
The delegation transited through the capital of Mali, Bamako, and was accompanied to Moscow via Istanbul by officers from Mali, a military regime that has moved firmly into the Russian camp.
The major reason for the visit was to request weapons and training to counter the jihadi extremists linked to the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda who have intensified their insurgency.
Failure to contain…