The French Embassy in the Central African Republic has reacted to the arrest of four French soldiers by the country’s military on the allegation of an attempt to assassinate President Faustin Archange Touadera on Monday, Feb. 21.
The four French soldiers were attached to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission to the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) but were alleged to be behind a plot to execute President Touadera as he arrived by an Air France flight at the Bangui M’poko International Airport.
But the French Embassy in a statement clarified that the four French soldiers who were accused of being the assassination squad by the Central African Republic security forces and their Russian allies, were security guards to Gen. Marchenoir, the MINUSCA chief of staff.
“The protection team of General Marchenoir, chief of staff of the MINUSCA force, composed of four French soldiers, was arrested this afternoon at the Bangui airport,” the statement read.
“These four security officers, with their professional equipment, were escorting the chief of staff of MINUSCA to board an Air France flight. The French Embassy regrets this incident. It condemns its immediate instrumentalisation on certain malicious social media and the big disinformation that it gave rise to.”
The Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group have been accused of orchestrating the fake plot to assassinate the Central African Republic President.
“The four French soldiers were in the airport on duty and therefore they were diplomats covered by international diplomatic protection,” a MINUSCA official who opted for anonymity because he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the UN agency declared.
Reliable diplomatic sources in Bangui said the arrest of the four French soldiers was piloted from the beginning to the end by Bienvenu Zokoue, the Director General of the Central African Republic police, on instructions from Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group.
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