Armed ViolenceNews

Central African Republic Army, Rebels In Fierce Fighting

National troops of the Central African Republic, CAR, assisted by Russian and Rwandan soldiers are engaged in battle with rebels belonging to Union for Peace, UPC.

Soldiers of the Central African Republic (CAR) national army known by the French acronym FACA assisted by Russian and Rwandan mercenaries and rebels of  Union for Peace (UPC) have been engaged in fierce fighting at PK10 on the Bambari-Ippy highway near the Ndassima junction.

HumAngle learnt that the fighting broke out Wednesday night at about 11 p.m. and lasted for about an hour followed by a lull before another bout which is continuing as this report is being filed.

In this renewed fighting, the Russian mercenaries were involved in dislodging the UPC rebels from the Ndassima mineral zone in the Bambari region within the country’s centre where the “Midas Ressource Company” which has Russian partners has been carrying out mining activities since 2019.

The fire exchange also involved rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) confronted by FACA soldiers and mercenaries of the Russian security company Wagner.

Sources said FACA combatants and their Russian allies had taken over the area which has been under the control of UPC fighters for some days.

“Though the Central African Republic national army FACA and their foreign backers now control Bambari and other neighbouring localities, there is no reason for joy among the local populations still courageously remaining there,”  a leader of the civil society organisation in the area who did not want his name mentioned in the press for fears of reprisals told HumAngle Wednesday evening.

“The local populations are subjected to the same inhuman treatment by both the rebel and government forces backed by Russian and Rwandan mercenaries.”

“The Russians, in particular, are more concerned with our mineral resources than the welfare of the people. They are not fighting for us. They are fighting for the minerals they are extracting from our land, and our government seems to be okay with that.

“We are orphans in our own land because nobody is interested in our welfare. Fear has driven most of the people to flee into the bushes as they have no friends within the fighting forces.”

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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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