Armed Forces of Guinea-Bissau to Undergo Training in Chechnya

Following a visit by the President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, to the eastern European nation of Chechnya, it has been announced by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov that military personnel from the African nation will undergo training at the Russian University of Special Forces (RUS) in Chechnya.

What You Need to Know:

After attending Moscow’s Victory Day parade on May 9th, President Embalo arrived in Chechnya on the 10th to attend a working meeting to discuss areas of cooperation with President Kadyrov.

“On the territory of the RUS, the guests were also greatly impressed by the weapons skills of the RUS curator, head of the security department of the Head of the Chechen Republic, Adam Kadyrov. The guests asked him to teach shooting lessons for them and the military of their country on the territory of the Russian Federation, and also invited him for joint training in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

Over a cup of tea, we discussed possible areas of mutually beneficial cooperation and development of friendly relations. At the request of Umaro Sissoco Embalo, military personnel from Guinea-Bissau will come to the Chechen Republic for training at the RUS base. He expressed readiness for possible interaction in various fields, as well as strengthening fraternal relations between Guinea-Bissau and the subject of the Russian Federation – the Chechen Republic,” said President Kadyrov on Telegram.

Sixteen-year-old Adam Kadyrov, son of Ramzan Kadyrov, is the current head of the Chechen Security Service, being appointed to the position by his father in November 2023.

The Details:

Guinea-Bissau, bordering Senegal to the north and Guinea, which is currently under military rule, to the south, has been labeled by the World Bank as “one of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries.” It is one of the most coup-prone and politically unstable countries in the world.

Furthermore, President Embalo’s power is markedly limited as a result of the country’s semi-presidential system. Under this system, the President serves as the head of state while the Prime Minister, who is selected by Parliament, appoints Ministers.

Guinea-Bissau’s Parliament has an opposition majority, with President Embalo’s party holding just 29 of the 102 seats. As a result, Embalo has created a ‘shadow cabinet’ in an attempt to “sideline the legislature and exercise executive authority,” according to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

In December 2023, Embalo dissolved Parliament and temporarily dismissed Prime Minister Geraldo Martins. Moreover, Embalo has moved increasingly closer towards the likes of Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov.

In March, Russia wrote off a $26.7 million dollar debt agreement with the country. At the same time, Russia agreed to restructure an additional $940,000 of Guinea-Bissau’s debt.

So, What Now?:

President Embalo’s visit to Chechnya illustrates West Africa’s ever-growing ties with the Russian bloc. A concerning development given the dismal human rights records of both Russia, Chechnya, as well as Guinea-Bissau. In recent months, Russia has increased its signing of military cooperation agreements with various African nations. These agreements seek to undercut western attempts to create stable political environments through health, economic, and trade initiatives.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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