At least 400 Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group and 200 former fighters of the Unite pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) rebel group have been deployed in the Haute-Kotto prefecture of the Central African Republic, ostensibly to combat rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) in the zone.
According to security sources in Bangui, the mopping up operations by men of the Wagner Security Group that started on Sunday, Jan.16, 2022 are being extended to the northeast of the country.
Out of the 400 Russian mercenaries deployed in the region, at least 100 have arrived in Sam-Ouandja, a locality situated 80 kilometres from Sudan to the north of the Central African Republic.
The presence of this large number of armed personnel is reported to be creating anxiety among the people of the region.
“The Russians have been installing their bases in each village and sub prefecture in the Haute-Kotto prefecture and have been increasing their patrols everywhere. They have been warning the local population to desist from getting involved in mining activities in Haute-Kotto,” a resident of the area who pleaded not to be named said.
“They have been visiting mayhem on even the neighbouring population such as in Ndele, Bamingui-Bangoran, Vakaga and Birao where all mining activities have almost ground to a halt because the artisanal miners fear they could be killed by the marauding Russians.”
In Sam-Ouandja town, the president of the special delegation appointed by President Touadera has joined his voice with others to condemn the massacre of local populations by Russians in the locality.
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