New Rebel Group Announced In Central African Republic As CPC Rebels Advance

The new group says it is the armed wing of an already existing political pressure group, but analysts are divided on the groups aims.

A new armed group has been announced in the Central African Republic, named “Coalition Siriri”. 

The organisation already had a political branch formed in 2019. At the time it swore to “work for peace and nothing but peace”.

However, with the formation of a military arm of the coalition, the objectives of the Coalition Siriri have moved from peace toward armed struggle.

Some political analysts in Bangui say the group, founded by Moustapha Sabone, senior brother to Abakar Sabone, one of the spokespersons of the CPC, has no political ideology of its own but is tied to the apron-strings of President Faustin Archange Touadera.

Reliable sources in Bangui say the group is made up mostly of Chadian and Sudanese mercenaries and its main objective is to destabilise the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) which has been fighting to overthrow the government of President Touadera.

However, some other political analysts say Coalition Siriri is a politico-military group which is fiercely opposed to the policies of President Touadera.

“It is very easy to identify their political position through their multiple press statements published in the past”, declared this source.

According to senior officials of Coalition Siriri, their movement already has about one thousand combatants and their next step would be the setting up of a Siriri military high command.

For now, the rebel group is based between Vakaga and Bamingui-Bangoran, principally in Saraibo and their military actions on the ground in the coming weeks will indicate their real goals of existence and on which side of the Central African Republic political divide the group leans to.

Meanwhile, the fighting on the ground has not been easy-going for the Central African Republic national army, FACA and their Russian mercenary allies.

“For the past one week now, FACA forces and their Russian allies of Wagner Security Group have been facing very difficult times in Batangafo and Bouca. The two towns are right now encircled by combatants of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) led by former head of state Francois Bozize”, a civil society source in Bangui told HumAngle yesterday evening.

According to a source at the intelligence service of the FACA northwest military high command, it is ten days now since the massive presence of CPC rebels was signalled around Bouca and later in Batangafo, chief town of the Ouham-Fafa prefecture situated 380 kilometres to the northwest of Bangui.

Military authorities in the two towns say several other rebel columns were on their way to Kaga-Bandoro while others are heading towards Bossangoa forcing the military high command to notch up the military alert to “the highest level throughout the country with a view to reinforcing the security dispositions of the population”.

In the meantime, in Bangui, FACA soldiers supported by police and gendarmes as well as their Russian allies have set up reinforcements in all corners of the capital.

“Within the past two weeks, fear has changed camp and the national authorities are living on their toes with the fear of the possibility of CPC combat columns arriving Bangui at any time. Some senior government officials have already started crossing the border to the DR Congo to search for accommodation to which they would resort should things take a turn for the worst”, revealed a political analyst who opted for anonymity.

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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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