Armed ViolenceNews

Russian Mercenaries Allegedly Kill 10 Civilians, Burn 50 Houses In Central African Republic

Aigbado village, still reeling from the impact of a recent rebel assault, has suffered severe losses to Russian mercenaries in CAR.

Ten civilians were reportedly killed on Saturday, June 19, 2021 while over 50 houses were razed by mercenaries of the Russian Wagner security group in Aigbado village, 75 kilometres to Bria on the Ndele highway in the Haute-Kotto prefecture of the Central African Republic.

This incident comes on the heels of another incident on Thursday, June 10, 2021 when Aigbado villagers were under siege by rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) and prevented from going to their farms or doing any other business.

A civil society activist who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals told HumAngle how the incident happened: “On Saturday around midday, the Wagner mercenaries returned to the village of Aighado, two weeks after their first incursion. This time around, they were no longer after the CPC rebels but the civilian populations,” he said.

“On arriving at the village, they started asking the villagers to tell them where the CPC rebels were hiding. The village chief and other inhabitants told them the rebels were no longer in the village. The rebels had left the village several hours before the arrival of the Russian mercenaries who looked very nervous.”

According to him, “The Wagner security operatives asked the villagers to tell them the direction to which the rebels had gone and after being told where the rebels were headed, the Russians pretended as if they were going after the rebels. About 300 metres away near a river they started arresting people and killing some.”

He said the villagers fled into the bushes after realising what was happening, adding that the Russian mercenaries eventually returned to the village and burnt down over 50 houses after looting whatever valuables they could lay their hands on.

“So far 10 bodies have been retrieved and only the Russian mercenaries remain in Aigbado right now. Some of them say they are waiting for the CPC rebels who might decide to return to the town in the hope that the Russians have left,” HumAngle was told by an informant.

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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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