Armed ViolenceNews

600 New Russian Instructors Arrive Central African Republic

The new instructors are arriving despite the continued atrocities of Russian mercenaries in the country.

The Central African Republic government has announced the arrival of 600 new Russian military ‘instructors’ in the country.

The announcement was contained in a correspondence addressed to the United Nations Security Council by Marie-Noelle Koyara, the country’s Defence Minister.

According to the government of the Russian Federation, the 600 additional ‘instructors’ have been sent to the Central African Republic at the demand of the government of President Faustin Archange Touadera.

The Russian instructors are expected to help train the Central African Republic so that together, they can combat rebels of the several armed groups wreaking havoc on the country.

In Dec. 2020, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had announced that Russia had deployed 300 ‘military instructors’ to the Central African Republic to help the Bangui authorities in their fight against violence attributed to armed rebels who occupy about 80 per cent of the country’s national territory.

However, shortly after the announcement of the deployment of the said 300 ‘instructors,’ the Russian government announced the withdrawal of 300 other ‘instructors’ under pressure from the United Nations Security Council.

In announcing the withdrawal of  300 instructors the Russians at the same time announced that 550 Russian instructors would remain in the country.

“The truth is that the number of Russian instructors currently in the Central African Republic is far more than the 550 the Russian government announced,”  a civil society activist who identified himself as Adolf Mbuli told HumAngle in Bangui, the national capital.

“Most of the Wagner Security operatives currently in our country are elements of the Russian army and if you add their number to the official Russian ‘instructors’ there are more than two thousand Russian military personnel in the Central African Republic.”

The Defence Minister says the 600 new Russian instructors who have arrived in the country are expected to support the reform process of the security sector in the Central African Republic.

Two hundred of the instructors would be assigned to the armed forces, 200 to the national gendarmerie and 200 to the police, the minister revealed.

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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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