Russian Mercenaries Arrest 12 Central African Republic Soldiers Over Extortion

The soldiers were caught extorting money from traders during a weekly market in Nana-Mambere prefecture to the northwest of the Central African Republic.

Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group on Thursday May 12, 2022 arrested 12  soldiers of the Central African Republic national army, FACA.

The 12 soldiers have been accused of extorting sums of money from traders in the Nganguene weekly market in Nana-Mambere prefecture to the northwest of the Central African Republic.

According to eyewitness accounts, the soldiers who are based in Koui had gone on a mission to Bouar, chief town of Nana-Mambere prefecture on Thursday and on their way back stopped at the Ngaguene weekly market located 30km from Bouar.

“Immediately they arrived at the market, they started asking every trader to produce his official identification papers. Those who failed to produce the said papers were forced to pay 3,000 FCFA (about $6),” a local source who witnessed the incident told HumAngle.

“As the FACA soldiers were extorting money from traders, one Peul herdsman mounted his horse and tried to leave the market. Three FACA soldiers who saw him leaving pursued him and shot him dead some metres away from the market.”

Concerned community leaders called the attention of the Russian mercenaries who arrived at the scene and arrested the 12 FACA soldiers and took them to Bouar.

Since arriving in Bouar, the soldiers have been subjected to very brutal torture by the Russians who have promised to publicly execute the FACA soldier who shot the Peul herder.

HumAngle gathered that gendarmes in the camp where the soldiers are being detained have been objecting to this extreme measure against the FACA soldier.

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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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