Armed ViolenceNews

CAR Citizens Accuse Soldiers Of Criminal Acts

Allied soldiers in the country have been accused of kidnapping, racketeering and molesting citizens.

There have been allegations of high handedness and criminal acts against soldiers of the Central African national army, popularly known by the French acronym FACA as well as their Rwandan and Russian mercenary allies by people of Ippy in Ouaka.

Life is slowly but steadily returning to normal in Ippy, the chief town of the Ouaka prefecture, which for seven years was under siege by forces of the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) but was recaptured by the Central African Republic army and their Rwandan and Russian allies on Feb. 19, 2021.

“Hardly a day passes without us registering scenes of racketeering, aggression and arbitrary arrest of a member of the moslem community in Ippy,” revealed a civil society source in Bambari.

He alleged that citizens are routinely arrested and not seen afterwards.

“This was the case with the delegate of the traders, Mr Idriss Impolis Sallet and his assistant, who were arrested by the security forces and have since not been seen.”

“There has been no sign that they are still alive,” he said.

“There are also the cases of other persons such as Mr Ousmane Aya, the delegate of the transporters, the trader Aladji Adam, as well as Abakar Adam and Yassir Adam, two of the students who were arrested by the government coalition forces.”

“Their families say FACA soldiers and their Rwandan and Russian allies are demanding one million FCFA (about US$2,000) per head for their release.”

HumAngle gathered that several other persons besides the individuals mentioned above have disappeared without a trace, and their families are very worried. 

One of such persons is an individual named Almaty who has for several days now not been seen or heard from; a citizen told HumAngle.

“On Saturday, February 27, 2021, a Toyota pick-up van and two motorbikes were seized from their proprietors, and the FACA and their Rwandan and Russian allies are demanding huge sums of money before they hand the vehicles back to their owners,” a resident who gave his name as Idrissu Hamadou told HumAngle in Ippy last evening.

“These are people who are supposed to have come here to liberate us from the rebels but are ending up behaving in just the same way the rebels treated us.”

“We are calling on the government to draw the ears of these elements to ensure a peaceful cohabitation in the town.”


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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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