Over 50 Killed In Clashes Between CPC Rebels And CAR Forces

Sources reveal a high death toll in clashes between the national forces of the Central African Republic and Russian Mercenary allies and rebels from the Coalition of Patriots for Change.

Over 50 combatants were killed during fighting in the village of Akocho, situated 10 kilometres from Bria on the Ndele road in the Haute-Kotto prefecture, sources have revealed.

The fighting which took place last week was between the Central African Republic national army, FACA, supported by Russian mercenaries and rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), led locally by self-proclaimed ‘general’ Mahamat Salleh.

“In effect, a group of several rebels appeared in the village of Akocho around 3 p.m. on Thursday (Dec 8), and passed the night there before saying their first prayers on Friday morning. During this time Russian mercenaries based in Aigbado, situated twenty-five kilometres from Akocho village on the Bria highway, were informed of the presence of the rebels”, a local civil society source told HumAngle on Dec 11.

On being informed of the presence of the CPC rebels in Akocho, the Russian mercenaries decided to form cordons and hem them in and they finally encircled the CPC rebels on December 10, 2022 leading to violent clashes.

“On the spot, nine rebels and three Russians were killed. After the first clashes, the Russian mercenaries who were informed another column of CPC rebels was en route to Akocho to join their colleagues, decided to ambush them to the north of the town”, our source revealed.

Some hours afterwards, the new group of CPC rebels arrived in the town and fell into the trap set by the Russians resulting into several hours of fierce fighting.

Latest reports say the fighting left five Russian mercenaries dead as well as ten FACA soldiers and fifteen CPC rebels.

The corpses of the five Russians killed were taken to Bangui by helicopter while the other corpses were abandoned on the battlefield.

Two of the Russian mercenaries who were wounded in the fighting died Saturday morning December 10 and their corpses were taken to Bria.

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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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