Home » Ghanaian police arrest five pro-Russian activists for wearing Wagner shirts.

Ghanaian police arrest five pro-Russian activists for wearing Wagner shirts.

Five Ghanaian men have been arrested and charged with "planning to overthrow the government and destabilising the peace" after they participated in a pro-Russian rally wearing shirts with Wagner inscriptions.

by Motoni Olodun

Five Ghanaian men were arrested and charged with “planning to overthrow the government and destabilizing the peace” after participating in a pro-Russian rally wearing shirts with Wagner inscriptions.

Wagner is a private military company that has been accused of operating in conflict zones such as Syria, Libya, Central African Republic, and Mozambique on behalf of the Russian government. Russia has denied any links to Wagner.

The five men were arrested on August 14, 2023, a day after they joined a protest at Diabene Park in Takoradi, the capital of the Western Region of Ghana. The protest, dubbed the West African Freedom Rally, was organized by a group called Mikado News, which runs a Facebook blog that publishes pro-Russian content.

According to GhanaFact, an independent fact-checking organization, the protest was attended by young people holding placards with various inscriptions, including – “Biden is a warmonger” and “Long live Russia,” and flags of Ghana, Russia, Niger, Mali, and Algeria.

The protest also featured guests from Ghana’s two major political parties: the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

One of the arrested men, Michael Asiedu, is the administrator of Mikado News. He told GhanaFact that he was unaware of Wagner’s activities and that he wore the shirt because he liked its design.

He also said that no one paid him to organize the protest and that he did it out of his own interest in geopolitics.

“I am not a mercenary or a spy. I am just a patriotic Ghanaian who loves Russia and wants to see more cooperation between our countries,” he said.

The other four men arrested are Kwame Asare, Emmanuel Osei, Isaac Mensah, and Samuel Agyei. They have been granted bail and are scheduled to appear in court on October 3, 2023.

GhanaFact reported that the pro-Russian network behind the protest has used various online platforms, such as Telegram, Twitter, and Facebook, to disseminate information and mobilize supporters.

The network is also linked to other pro-Russian African groups, such as AussieCossack in South Africa and X in Nigeria.

The network has been promoting a narrative that portrays Russia as a friend of Africa and the US as an enemy. It has also been criticizing the presence of US military personnel in Ghana under the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) signed in 2018.

The DCA allows the US to use Ghana’s radio spectrum, runways, and facilities for its military operations in exchange for training and equipment for Ghana’s armed forces.

The agreement has been controversial in Ghana, with some civil society groups and opposition politicians accusing the government of compromising the country’s sovereignty and security.

However, the government has defended the agreement as beneficial for Ghana’s defense capabilities and regional stability.

The US embassy in Ghana has not commented on the arrest of the pro-Russian activists or their allegations against the US.

Ghana is considered one of the most stable and democratic countries in Africa. It has maintained good relations with Russia and the US over the years.

Ghana’s foreign policy is based on non-alignment and peaceful coexistence with all countries. The country is also a member of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which promote regional integration and cooperation.

GhanaFact said it will continue to monitor the situation and expose any attempts to spread misinformation or propaganda that could undermine Ghana’s democracy and security.

Source: Ghana Web

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