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Central African Republic Cleric Missing After Home Raid By Russian Mercenaries

Russian mercenaries who killed the Sultan Mayor of Koui in June, have also been fingered in the abduction of a music cleric.

The Imam of the Koui central mosque in the Central African Republic has been missing since Sunday, August 1, morning after his home was raided by Russian mercenaries.

According to his family and the entire Muslim community in Koui, Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group were the main suspects in the disappearance of the cleric who is the second personality in Koui after the Sultan Mayor.

“His family members say for the past several weeks, the Russian mercenaries have been harassing the Imam and ordered him to stop teaching the children in the Quranic School because his teachings hurt their ears,” a  civil society activist in Koui told HumAngle by phone from Koui this morning.

“The Imam had ignored their first order and yesterday, the Russian mercenaries invaded his residence. Since the departure of the Russians from the Imam’s residence, he has not been seen in public. That is why parents of pupils of the Quranic School as well as the entire Muslim community suspect the Russians of having kidnapped the Imam.”

Eyewitness accounts revealed that after their illegal entry into the Imam’s residence, some other Russian mercenaries entered the compound of the late Sultan Mayor of Koui and illegally took away some of his properties which they left behind after their first visits to the compound.

On June 12, 2021, Lamido Souleymane Daouda, the Sultan Mayor of Koui, and his assistant as well as his bodyguard were killed by Russian mercenaries. 

Since then, the Wagner Security Group operatives have intensified their exactions in the town, looting shops, detaining people illegally as well as sexual abuses and hold-ups.

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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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