The United States has accused Kremlin-backed Russian military contractors of interfering in the internal affairs of African countries

and “increasing the likelihood that violent extremism will grow” in the Sahel region, which is facing increasing attacks, an allegation Russia denied.

US Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills lashed out at the Wagner Group at a UN Security Council meeting on West Africa and the Sahel on Tuesday.

He accused the paramilitary force of failing to address the threat of armed groups, robbing countries of their resources,

committing human rights abuses and endangering the safety and security of UN peacekeepers and staff.

France’s political counsellor, Isis Jaraud-Darnault, echoed Mills, saying the “model” used by Wagner mercenaries has proven “totally ineffective in combating terrorism”.