Photo credit: Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
Photo credit: Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

Saferworld’s Warpod episode 13: The rise of private military and security companies

Many might not have heard a troubling story about 300 civilians massacred in Mali’s Moura village in early April 2022. Human Rights Watch called it "the worst single atrocity reported in Mali's decade-long armed conflict".

Who carried out the attack? The answer appears to be Malian forces had help from private foreign soldiers from the Russian private-security firm Wagner. Reports of shadowy groups of mercenaries operating under the rubric of the Russian private military contractor Wagner operating around the world have trickled out for years but we still don't really know who Wagner are.

In this episode we discuss Wagner and the rise of private military contractors. We look at how they operate and their impacts on peacebuilding efforts in conflict-affected areas. Our hosts are joined by:

  • Andreas Krieg, Associate Professor at the School of Security Studies at King's College London, Royal College of Defence Studies.
  • Adam Sandor, Post-Doctoral Researcher in Postcolonial Hierarchies in Peace and Conflict at the University of Bayreuth.
  • Helene Olsen, a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of War Studies and a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Defence Studies Department and in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

Please note the views and opinions expressed during the podcast are those of the contributors featured. They are not necessarily the views or opinions of Saferworld.

Listen to previous Warpod episodes here.