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Central African Republic Citizens In Diaspora Want Russian Mercenaries Off Their Country

The citizens in a statement released in Paris, have accused Russian mercenaries of several atrocities.

Citizens of the Central African Republic in the diaspora have written to the Russian government to pull out the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group who have been wreaking havoc in their country.

In a memorandum signed in Paris on Saturday, June 12, 2021 which has just been made public, the CAR diaspora community said it recognised the validity of inter-state accords signed between the country and the Russian state but called to question the validity of the accords which it sid were “negotiated in opacity” and signed in 2017 between former Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada, who was the Director of Cabinet of President Faustin Archange Touadera, and the Russian Wagner Security Group.

According to the CAR diaspora community, the memorandum “has as goal to alert on the serious exactions committed by the mercenaries of the Wagner group or committed with their participation, to demand that immediate and appropriate measures, notably the immediate expulsion of these mercenaries and all mercenaries from the territory of the Central African Republic in order to formulate proposals for a return of our country to normality and peace between Central Africans.”

The memorandum called on the international community to which “our country, the Central African Republic belongs and to which, we citizens of the Central African Republic firmly hold that it continues to participate, so that together, strong measures are taken without delay in order to avoid a situation that would seriously affect the fundamental rights of Central Africans and at the same time dangerously threaten the peace and international security both at the regional and global levels.”

The memorandum revealed that since arriving in the Central African Republic in 2018, Wagner Security Group has created two companies namely “Lobaye Invest” which is a mining and forestry company, and “Sewa Security,” which handles security matters.

“The leaders and employees of these companies circulate in Bangui and in all other parts of the country and are seen by all.”

“They are involved not only in economic activities but also in military operations, and this particularly since the beginning of 2021.”

“This implication is confirmed by the government of our country which has since always regularly and officially mentioned ‘FACAS and their Russian and Rwandan allies’ within the context where the army of the Russian Federation has never indicated the presence of a single soldier of theirs on Central African territory and also abundantly confirmed by the Russian Adviser of the President of the Republic on security matters, Mr Valery Zakharova in his almost daily war chronicle on the social network Twitter.”

The diaspora Central Africans are angered by the fact that “Valery Zakharova now appears to be the real boss of the Central African Republic security and defense of the country to a point where he makes official declarations in the name of the country in the place of the President of the Republic.”

“He officially uses the letterheads bearing the coat of arms of the Central African Republic to summons parliamentarians and to personally carry out acts of corruption on parliamentarians to buy their votes and on youth leaders to finance campaigns against the institutional partners of the Central African Republic and against a free, peaceful and united country rid of the mercenaries of Wagner.”

“He also officially sends warnings to partners and friendly nations of our country, the Central African Republic.”

The memorandum revealed that as compensation for services rendered to the Touadera regime, “Wagner Group has demanded and obtained mineral and forestry exploitation contracts in the zones situated in four corners of the country and these in disregard of Article 60 of our Constitution which demands prior authorisation from the National Assembly and the publication of contracts signed.”

“In addition, for the execution of these contracts, Wagner Group, by the intermediary of its ‘Lobaye Invest’ company has concluded security accords for its exploitations with armed groups including the group of the Nigerien mercenary Ali Darassa and that of Abdoulaye Hissen. They also secretly finance armed groups which they pretend to be combatting.”

“Elements of Wagner Group participate in campaigns of intimidation and terror targeting leaders and cadres of political parties of the democratic opposition as well as civil society organizations which are carried out in concert with the presidential militia called ‘The Sharks’ responsible for abductions, forced disappearances and targeted attacks in the town of Bangui,” the memorandum revealed.

The memorandum called for “the cancellation of the accords with Wagner Group and the withdrawal of its members from Central African Republic territory to be replaced by state-to-state cooperation with the brotherly nation of Russia and a healthy cooperation with enterprises susceptible to contribute towards the development of our country”.

“The recall of the Russian Ambassador to the Central African Republic, Titorenko, by his country or his being declared persona non grata.”

“The activation, as the need arises, of defense accords that we have with other countries including African nations as was done with the brotherly country of Rwanda.”

“The putting in place of an international commission of inquiry on the exactions against the civilian populations of the Central African Republic by the mercenaries of the Wagner Group and other armed groups.”

“The beginning of penal pursuits for the actions mentioned above which constitute crimes, and this before the Central African Republic penal jurisdictions of common law, at the Special Central African Republic Penal Court and/or before the international criminal court.”

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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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