Armed ViolenceNews

Russian Mercenaries Arrest Ex-Rebel General In Central African Republic

He was arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 10 and detained in Bria before being transferred on Thursday to Bangui.

A former “general” of the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC) rebel movement has been arrested by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group in the Central African Republic. 

He was arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 10 and detained in Bria before being transferred on Thursday to Bangui.

The former “general” was identified as Kousko Abdel Kani, a brother to Mahamat Said Abdel Kani, who was arrested and transferred to the international criminal tribunal in The Hague for crimes committed during the reign of the Seleka regime in the country from 2013 to 2014.

According to eyewitnesses, Kousko Abdel Kani was arrested in his house by the Russian mercenaries.

“He tried to escape through the back door of his house but was seen by the Russians who fired shots into the air to stop him from fleeing. One of the bullets hit him on the chest and he is in a very critical situation right now,” a security source said.

“In spite of his rather precarious health situation, the Russians still found it necessary to transfer him to the camp of the Central African Republic national army, FACA, instead of to a hospital for medical attention.”

HumAngle learnt that he has been taken to a health facility run by the French international humanitarian NGO, Medecins Sans Frontieres in Bria.

His family members said they were not allowed access to him by the Russian mercenaries while he was in hospital, as a Russian mercenary was stationed by his bedside to watch over him.

The arrest of the former “general” followed a tip-off to the Russians by someone who overheard Abdel Kani talking on the telephone to the former Commander of FPRC forces, Damboucha about one hour before he was picked up.

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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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