Central African Republic Interpreter For Russian Mercenaries Shot Dead

Sources revealed that “Russian mercenaries suddenly became very hostile after they returned from a military mission in the Vakaga prefecture where they carried out a massacre of civilians.”

A soldier of the Central African Republic national army, FACA, who acted as an interpreter for the Russian mercenaries in the country, has been killed.

The soldier, identified as Igor, was killed on Saturday, April 16, in the northeast military district of Ndele in Bamingui-Bangoran, about 654 km to the north of the capital Bangui.

Circumstances around his death were not immediately clear but his colleagues who said they were shocked by the news said the soldier was executed in the camp of Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group.

According to the accounts of some FACA soldiers, they revealed that Russian mercenaries suddenly became very hostile after they returned from a military mission in the Vakaga prefecture where they carried out a massacre of civilians.

“They seemed at the edge of their nerves. They were in complete disagreement with Igor, their interpreter. On Saturday morning, they came and spoke to Igor in front of the FACA military base and then a few minutes afterwards, they called him to their base where they cold-bloodedly executed him for no reason,” a soldier colleague of Igor who opted for anonymity for fear of reprisals from the Russians revealed.

“Igor was not wounded during fighting. Meanwhile, during our operation in Vakaga, we did not confront armed groups thus he was not wounded in the theatre of operations but he was cold-bloodedly killed by his ‘Russian friends’ after a short discussion in their base,” another FACA soldier said.

The general opinion among the local population in Ndele is that Igor was executed by the Russians because he knew and witnessed so many of their atrocities and may have been invited to testify at a recently-constituted investigation panel.

“Igor has been working with them for the past six months. He had full knowledge of their criminal secrets because he very well understood their language. To me, I think they killed him in order to silence him,” another FACA soldier declared.

His corpse has been taken  to Bangui by air and is waiting to be buried by his family which is still waiting for explanations from the government as to the reason for his murder.

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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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