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Russian Mercenaries Allegedly Kill 3 Central African Republic Youths

Controversies have continued to trail the conduct of Russian mercenaries in the Central African Republic with the recent alleged killing of three young men.

Russian mercenaries in the Central African Republic are in the middle of an extra-judicial killing allegation after the bodies of three young men arrested by them were found dumped by the road-side. 

The bodies of the three youths were discovered on the morning of Friday, April 9, by passers-by five kilometres to Alindao on the Bambari highway.

The deceased were identified as Ousmane Mahamat, a vendor of barbecued beef in the Alindao motor park, Abdoul Tchatcha, and Ibro Soule.

According to information gathered from relatives and some inhabitants of Alindao, at the beginning of this week, Russian mercenaries arrived at the motor park where they met Ousmane Mahamat and ate some of his meat to the value of 15,000 FCFA (about US$30).

“After eating the meat, they started leaving without paying for it. When Mahamat tried to complain, the Russian mercenaries told him to go and ask for his money from President Faustin Archange Touadera,” a local source who did not want to be named told HumAngle.

“They told him Touadera had instructed them to raze down Ouaka and Basse-Kotto prefectures.”

According to many eyewitness accounts, “Mahamat did not agree to what they told him to do but told the Russians that he was a simple citizen and there was no way he could get access to the president of the country.”

“The mercenaries got angry and arrested Mahamat and detained him in a hole they had prepared for such detentions.”

Local sources say the Russian mercenaries detained Abdoul Tchatcha in the same cell with Mahamat the following day after taking some raw gold from him.

“The following morning the Russian mercenaries brought Abdoul Tchatcha to the same cell. His family says he had just returned from a mining site in Pouloubou with two grammes of gold to sell and raise money for the baptism of his child. The Russians seized the gold from him and placed him in detention,” one of the sources said. 

A few hours after the detention of Tchatcha, the Russians brought in Ibro Soule and detained him in the same cell. Soule was from Nzelete village situated 20 kilometres from Alindao on the Bambari highway.

According to his family members, he had been given a cow by his father to go and sell and use the money to buy rice and flour in preparation for Ramadan. 

The Russian mercenaries arrested Soule before he could sell the cow and seized it from him.

“On Thursday April 8, evening, the Russian mercenaries extracted them from the cell on the pretext that they were taking them to Bambari for further investigations,” sources revealed.

But they were murdered by the mercenaries on the road.

“Arriving five kilometres away from Alindao, the Russian mercenaries murdered them in cold blood and dumped their bodies where they were found yesterday, April 9, 2021,” a family member who refused to be identified for fear of being killed too, told HumAngle.

Of the three murdered youths, two were of the Rounga ethnic group while one was a Peul.

Family members of the murdered youths have condemned the criminal comportment of the Russian mercenaries and have called for justice.

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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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