NewsSexual Violence

CAR Stops Posting Of Female Soldiers To Hinterland Over Alleged Sexual Assault

The reason is there is the fear that they would become victims of sexual harassment by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group who are notorious for taking advantage of women in the country.

Newly recruited female soldiers of the Central African Republic army will no longer be posted to military operation zones in the hinterland of the country, the country’s military high command said.

The reason is there is the fear that they would become victims of sexual harassment by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group who are notorious for taking advantage of women in the country.

According to statistics by the high command of the Central African Republic national army, FACA, two in every three newly recruited female soldiers of FACA have been victims of sexual harassment by Russian mercenaries during their detachment to provincial towns.

Even their male colleagues are not exempted from the sexual predatorion by the Russian mercenaries. 

Recent cases were signaled in Koui, Mberewock, Mann, and Bang where female soldiers were targeted and sexually violated by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group.

“However, since their chiefs had briefed them before their posting and warned them against denouncing the Russians, most of the female soldiers prefer to sleep outside the camps rather than near the Russian mercenaries whom they know would take them for their sex slaves,” a senior FACA soldier who opted for anonymity for fear of reprisals, hinted HumAngle.

HumAngle understands that most of the female soldiers prefer to always be near their Central African Republic superiors for protection in Koui.

But sometimes, for fear of reprisals from the Russians, even the FACA officers abandon their female compatriots to the whims and caprices of the Russian sexual predators.

“Most Russian mercenaries always arrive in their camps with alcohol and drugs and once they take the alcohol or drugs, they start harassing us for sex,” one female FACA soldier revealed.

“Once they start shouting ‘foka foka’ we know it is time to run away because it is a signal they want sex and would always force us to sleep with them and sometimes they use violence in forcing us to have sex with them,” another female FACA soldier on detachment to the northwest of the country said.

According to the female FACA soldiers, sexual harassment by the Russian mercenaries is a phenomenon known by the military hierarchy but since the Russians have taken the FACA forces hostage, nobody can do or is willing to do anything about it. Not the military leadership, nor the political leadership of the country.


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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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