Armed ViolenceNews

Russian Mercenaries Attack Benzame Village In Central African Republic, Kill 7 Persons

“Hiding in the bushes has not stopped the Russian mercenaries from chasing the civilians into their hiding places.”

Benzambe town in the Ouham prefecture of the Central African Republic has been deserted since Saturday, Oct. 16 following an incursion by Russian mercenaries into the council area.

Local sources say the inhabitants of the Benzambe council area, have for the past two days, been victims of multiple exactions by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group.

“Some of the people have been forced to abandon their houses to neighbouring villages while others have taken refuge in the bushes,” a local who did not want to be named for his safety told HumAngle.

“Hiding in the bushes has not stopped the Russian mercenaries from chasing the civilians into their hiding places in the bushes and killing them there. They have so far killed seven civilians. There is a humanitarian catastrophe in the making.”

On Saturday, Oct. 16, after the proclamation of a ceasefire by President Faustin Archange Touadera, a patrol of Russian mercenaries from Bossangoa town arrived at Benzambe situated 40 km from Bossangoa and started destroying shops and personal properties of the inhabitants, local sources said.

“They killed cattle and rustled some. They stole solar plates, refrigerators, looted health centres and carted away drugs.”

“As this was going on, the population started leaving en masse for neighbouring villages or to hide in the bushes but the Russian mercenaries in the ‘madness’ decided to chase the fleeing villagers into the bushes where they killed seven of them.”

“Right now, the town is completely deserted and all administrative, commercial and economic activities have come to a standstill. Only the Russian mercenaries can be seen in the town now,” the source added.

Before the Russians arrived at Benzambe, they had ransacked and killed four persons in villages situated between Bossangoa and Benzambe. A total of seven persons had been killed by the Russians since Saturday, Oct. 16.

There has been no reaction from Bangui following these killings and destruction.

Meanwhile, the Touadera government has been piling pressure on the Prefect of Ouham prefecture to make a radio statement denying that the killings and destruction had taken place.

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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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