Ghana’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Boniface Gambila Adagbila, has explained to Burkina Faso officials that President Akufo-Addo’s “Russian mercenaries” statement was not intended to condemn Ouagadougou.
The ambassador was summoned on Friday, December 16, 2022, by the Burkinabe authorities to answer questions on the president’s claims that their government is hiring Russian mercenaries.
President Akufo-Addo expressed concerns about Russian mercenaries’ activities on Ghana’s northern border with Burkina Faso.
He alleged this at the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, during a meeting with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
According to the President, the military government of Burkina Faso had hired Russian mercenaries, the Wagner Group, to help fight an insurgency in their country while allocating a mine to pay them.
“Today, Russian mercenaries are on our northern border. Burkina Faso has now entered into an arrangement to go along with Mali in employing the Wagner forces there.
“I believe a mine in southern Burkina has been allocated to them as a form of payment for their services. Prime Minister of Burkina Faso in the last 10 days has been in Moscow. And to have them operating on our northern border is particularly distressing for us in Ghana,” the president said.
This statement led Burkina Faso to recall its ambassador to Ghana for consultation on Friday.
Ambassador Adagbila, however, explained to the Burkina Faso Minister Delegate in charge of Regional Cooperation, Karamoko Jean Marie Traore, that Akufo-Addo meant no harm with his comments.
He said Ghana’s president only sought to draw the interest of development partners to the terrorist activities in Burkina Faso.
He added that the comments were “conditional”.
However, Minister Traore said Ghana could have consulted with Burkinabè authorities on the issue to get the right information before going public.
“It would have been more interesting to initiate a dialogue between participating and non-participating African countries as a prelude to this summit of the United States of America,” he said.
The minister, however, did not deny or confirm the allegations.
Meanwhile, both have agreed to strengthen their bond of solidarity and brotherhood.