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Central African Republic Lawmaker Accuses 3R Rebels, Russian Mercenaries Of Killings, Arson

The MP, who has at one time been a Prime Minister, wants action taken against Russian mercenaries and rebel groups.

Martin Ziguele, Member of Parliament for the Bocaranga 3 constituency in the Central African Republic who doubles as president of the Mouvement de Liberation du Peuple Centrafricain (MPLC), has accused rebels of the Return, Reclamation and Reinsertion (3R) movement and mercenaries of the Russian Wagner Security Group of killings and burning down of houses in the country.

“The Russians and the 3R rebels loot, kill and burn houses,” Ziguele declared in an interview on Wednesday, Sept. 22 with a local media outfit L’Hirondelle.

“While we are happy with the determination by the government to reduce the ability of the rebels to disturb the peace, we are also happy that several towns and villages have been liberated from the rebels.”

“All the same, we notice that the rebels have been driven from the villages and are now in the hinterlands. Russian paramilitary forces are also engaged in all sorts of exactions of the populations, a situation which has been condemned by non-governmental organisations (ONGs), United Nations experts, our militants on the ground as well as the media.”

The lawmaker added that, “the populations in our provinces are virtually living like prisoners. We have examples in Mann, Loura, Bozoum, Bouar, Bossemptele, where the Russians come without being summoned, destroy houses, loot motorbikes and kill our people.”

“Populations of the northwest have been held hostage by Russian paramilitaries on the one hand and the 3R rebels on the other hand.”

But in a reaction, Serge Ghislain Djorie, the Central African Republic Minister of Communication and government spokesperson, dismissed the declarations by Ziguele as “false allegations” and has even threatened legal action against the parliamentarian.

The Member of Parliament has, however, insisted that his allegations have been corroborated by the Prefect of Bocaranga who is a government appointee and challenged the government spokesperson to “take a plane and fly to Bocaranga and investigate on what I have said.”

“He will discover that what I have said is what is happening on the ground”.

“It is in the interest of the government to use all the means at its disposal to investigate what is going on. There are the ministers of interior, minister of justice, there are the intelligence services, there are representatives of the local councils through whom the government can pass to get at the truth,” the MPLC leader declared.

Martin Ziguele, who has been a former Prime Minister of the Central African Republic reminded citizens that he has been in government before and knows the structural weaknesses of the country, adding that the government must do something to rapidly document all the exactions against the local populations and draw the conclusions so that justice can be rendered to the affected people.

“This is necessary for the interest of peace and the durable stability of the country,” he said.


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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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