Armed ViolenceNews

20 Die In Clashes Between UPC Rebels, Russian Mercenaries In Central African Republic

The clashes were targeted at dislodging Ali Darassa and his rebels in the affected region, in a mission led by Russian soldiers.

Twenty people have been reported killed in the ongoing violent clashes between rebels of the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) and Russian mercenaries of the Wagner security group.

The fighting which started on Saturday, May 15, is centred around Boyo village situated about 40 kilometres on the Bambari-Ndassima highway in the Ouaka district.

According to security forces in the area, Boyo village has been completely razed to the ground and almost all of its inhabitants have fled into the bushes.

The clashes started at 4 a.m. CAT on the morning of Saturday, May 15, and the UPC rebels were reported to have been so resilient that the Russian mercenaries were forced to deploy their heaviest war machinery including helicopters, tanks, and heavy artillery before overcoming the rebels by Sunday, May 16.

According to local sources, almost all the victims were struck by projectiles from the Russian military arsenal after the Russian mercenaries entered the village.

“Some people are already talking of a massacre of the population by Russian mercenaries while others say the dead were merely casualties of the fighting,” a security source told HumAngle by phone on Monday.

After escaping from Mbomou town, the leader of the UPC, Ali Darassa, took refuge in the village of Boyo accompanied by heavily armed members of his rebel movement.

The assault on Boyo village by the Russians, it is believed, was aimed at dislodging Ali Darassa and his men, an objective which they seem to have achieved.

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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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