Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group have been accused of killing “over 100 civilians” during a raid on Thursday, Nov. 25, on Aigbado situated 75 kilometres from Bria in the Central African Republic.
According to eyewitness accounts confirmed by local authorities, the heavily-armed Russian mercenaries aboard a pick-up invaded the town officially in pursuit of rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).
“The reality was something else. On arrival and without any provocation whatsoever, they opened fire on the population as well as all moving objects including domestic animals,” a civil society activist revealed.
“They killed at least 50 persons on the spot. Other sources that counted the dead say the final figure could be above one hundred civilians.”
“As if that was not enough, they set fire on several houses and later arrested more than ten persons after burning down business places and looting their contents.”
The Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group arrived the Central African Republic in January this year to help the country’s national army in their fight against rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) that were threatening to take over the capital Bangui and overthrow the government of President Faustin Archange Touadera.
“Since their arrival however, they have become more of business people than fighters and have been concentrating on exploiting the mineral resources of the country instead of fighting the CPC rebels. There are more of them at mining sites far away from where the CPC rebels are found than they are in combat zones,” said the local civil society activist.
“Attacks by the Russians against civilians are more frequent than they are against CPC rebels. And these attacks are becoming more frequent and brutal in the villages and towns away from the presence of rebels and military targets.”
“In several cases, the gravity of the crimes committed by the Russian mercenaries, government forces and militia groups allied to the government as well as the systematic way in which these abuses are committed permit their being considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
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