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150 Rwandan Soldiers Arrive Central African Republic Under Military Cooperation

Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vincent Burita, says the troops are there to protect the country’s institutions and the people in Bangui.

A contingent of 150 Rwandan soldiers has arrived in the Central African Republic under an arrangement between the two countries.

The contingent comprises commando parachutists and would be based in the Ouango military camp in the seventh district of Bangui, the capital, before they are deployed to other provincial towns.

According to senior military sources, the role of the Rwandan troops in the Central African Republic has not yet been defined, but they have been deployed in the country at the demand of President Faustin Archange Touadera.

The Rwandan government, on its part, says the troops have been dispatched to relieve some of its troops already in the country.

A retired former officer of the Central African Republic army, FACA, believes more may be at play though. According to him, the Rwandan troops may be in the country to support President Touadera in the event of any uprising following his intention to revise the country’s constitution, a move opposed by a majority of the country’s population.

Besides the Rwandan troops attached to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), there are more than 2,000 other Rwandan personnel in the country under military cooperation agreements between the two countries.

The Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vincent Burita, says the troops are essentially based in Bangui and their role is to protect the country’s institutions and the population of Bangui.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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