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Chad, Central African Republic Trade Words Over Death Of 6 Chadian Soldiers

Mercenaries of the Russian Wagner group have been accused of killing Chadian soldiers while allegedly in pursuit of rebels.

There is an impending military confrontation between Chad and the Central African Republic following the death of six Chadian soldiers in an attack on Sunday, May 30, 2021, on the Chadian locality of Sourou by Russian mercenaries working with the Central African Republic.

On Monday, May 31, 2021, the Central African Republic government issued a communique explaining that the attack was in pursuit of Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) rebels who attacked villages on the border with Chad then escaped into Chadian territory.

“In the pursuit of elements of the CPC at the Central African Republic-Chadian border on Sunday, May 30, 2021, there were exchanges of fire by both sides,” the communique reads.

“These exchanges unfortunately provoked deaths on the side of the Central African Republic and Chad creating desolation, once again due to the actions of the CPC.”

“The government of the Central African Republic condemns the mode of operation of the CPC which carries out attacks on the populations of the Central African Republic before crossing the border.”

“The government deplores the loss of human lives and the wounded within the armies of Chad and the Central African Republic and transmits its condolences and compassion to the affected families.”

“The government of the Central African Republic, which has shown on several occasions, its willingness to reaffirm its relations with the government of Chad and between the two brotherly people, reaffirms its determination to continue to work in the spirit and letter of the dispositions of the Central African Republic and Chad mixed commission of December 2019.”

“In this spirit, the Central African Republic government remains disposed to start within a brief delay, all actions of securing the common borders in the interest of the two people and to be available to work with the Chadian side to preserve the peace and security dear to our two governments.”

In response to the Central African Republic government communique, the Chadian government says it remains shocked by the said attack.

“It is not within this zone that the rebels probably operated. Thus to come out saying that they were chasing the rebels who entered our territory, I do not see why they took Chadian soldiers dressed in Chadian military uniforms to the other side of the frontier and coldly assassinated them and returned their bodies to the village chief,” a Chadian government official declared.

“Do you think we would swallow such a story? They should beware of the words they use,” adding that “if an international investigation is put in place, we would probably participate but not this comedy proposed by the Central African Republic side.”

The attack on an advance post of the Chadian army took place in Sourou village near the locality of Mbere close to the border with the Central African Republic.

“The post was manned by 12 elements of the detached Chadian defence forces. The Chadian government qualifies the attack as aggression that nothing can justify at a time when the two countries are working to mutualize their efforts to face common security challenges,” a Chadian government spokesperson 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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