The Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom (UK), Grant Shapps, on Wednesday, confirmed that Britain will proscribe the Russian mercenary outfit, the Wagner Group, as a terrorist organisation.
Shapps told Sky News, he said, “Given the activities they’re involved with, it’s important that as far as the UK is concerned, it will be illegal to be part of them.”
The Defence Secretary’s statement is coming hours after British media reported that Home Secretary Suella Braverman was to make the Wagner Group a “proscribed” organisation under anti-terror laws, putting it on a par with Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
The Daily Mail quoted, Braverman saying, “Wagner is a violent and destructive organisation which has acted as a military tool of Vladimir Putin’s Russia overseas.
“While Putin’s regime decides what to do with the monster it created, Wagner’s continuing destabilising activities only continue to serve the Kremlin’s political goals.”
Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary has the power to proscribe an organisation if they believe it is involved in terrorism.
A proscription order makes it a criminal offence to support the group.
Braverman further stated, “They are terrorists, plain and simple — and this proscription order makes that clear in UK law.
“Wagner has been involved in looting, torture and barbarous murders.”
The group’s operations in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa “are a threat to global security,” she said.
“That is why we are proscribing this terrorist organisation and continuing to aid Ukraine wherever we can in its fight against Russia.”
Draft measures to ban the Wagner Group under the act will be laid in parliament on Wednesday.
Shapps said the measures will ban people in the UK from being “actively involved” in the group or displaying its logo.
In July, Britain announced sanctions against 13 individuals and businesses it said had links to the Russian group in Africa, accusing it of crimes there, including killings and torture.
The post UK To Proscribe Russia’s Wagner Group As ‘Terrorist’ Organisation appeared first on Naija News.