Three Central African Republic ministers arrived in Bria town on Monday, Sept. 13 to take part in a ceremony to mark the disarmament of former rebels of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central Africa (FPRC), Mouvement Patriotique pour la Centrafrique (MPC), Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), Rassemblement pour la réconciliation des Centrafricains (RPRC), and the Anti-Balaka.
The ministers are Herbert Gotron Djono Haba in charge of Transport who is also the leader of the RPRC, Jean-Willybiro-Sako, the Minister of State in charge of Disarmament, and Hassan Bouba, the Minister of Animal Breeding who is a Chadian as well as Abdoulaye Hissen, a rebel leader.
They were scheduled to be in Bria for three days to supervise the disarmament process.
However, the disarmament program risks being interrupted following the incursion of UPC rebels into Kpokpo village, situated 100 km from Bria on the Yalinga highway who are reported to be heading to Bria to disrupt the process.
“The rebels arrived at Kpokpo on Monday around 8 a.m. and on arrival fired gunshots into the air to intimidate the population after which they started extorting money, diamonds and other goods from the people. They eventually went from house to house, seizing motor bikes,” local sources said.
Informed of the threat being posed to the disarmament arrangements in Bria, Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group mounted patrols around Bria with a view to arresting the UPC rebels involved but were unable to arrest any.
As of the time of filing this report, it was not clear whether the ministers will succeed in their disarmament mission in Bria.
Since the month of July this year, hundreds of rebel combatants who are members of armed groups active in the zone have manifested their desires to lay down their arms.
Some of them have already done so and the presence of the three ministers in Bria is intended to facilitate the process and calm tensions between the Russian mercenaries and the population who have been protesting against the exactions by the Russians.
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