Armed ViolenceNews

Russian Mercenaries Arrive In Bangassou, Central African Republic, Prepare For Big Operations

Their arrival has created relative calm; social, economic, administrative, and educational activities have resumed in the town.

In a move seen as pre-empting large-scale military operations in the area, there has been a massive arrival of Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group in the Bangassou town, provincial capital of Mbomou in Southeast of the Central African Republic.

Local sources in Bangassou told HumAngle the Russians who started arriving the provincial capital since Monday, Sept. 13, have as their main target, combatants of the Unite pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) rebels who are affiliated to the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

Sources at the Central African Republic military high command say for several months now, the movement of people and goods on the highway linking Bangassou and Rafai as well as Zemio has been hindered by the activities of the UPC rebels. 

“It is to clear the area of UPC rebels who have been carrying out racketeering activities and exploitation of the local population that the Wagner Group paramilitary operatives have been dispatched to the province in order to totally liberate the people and the whole area from the pangs of the UPC terrorists,” a senior military source told HumAngle in Bangui.

Three UPC combatants were last month arrested in Rafai and later transferred to Bangassou where they escaped from the gendarmerie cell they were detained in. They were later arrested and transferred to Bangui, the capital. 

Bangassou town was in April this year occupied by the CPC rebels for several days before they were chased away by the Rwandan contingent of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

Since the arrival of the UN Blue Helmets in Bangassou, there has been relative calm and social, economic, administrative, and educational activities have resumed in the town.

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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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