Russian Mercenaries Attack Kouki Mines In Central Africa Republic, Kill Miners

Despite an ongoing investigation and hearing into human rights violations by Russian mercenaries in Central African Republic, civilians continue to suffer violations and deaths from the mercenaries.

A yet to be ascertained number of local miners were killed on Wednesday, April 20 when Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group invaded mining sites in Kouki, a locality within the council area of Nana-Bakassa situated about 80 km to the north of Bossangoa town on the Paoua highway in Central African Republic.

“There was general disarray and panic in Kouki and everybody ran to save their skin as the Russian mercenaries of Wagner accompanied by soldiers of the Central African Republic national army, FACA, arrived at the local mining sites,” a local source who did not want to be named for security reasons told HumAngle.

“The principal objective of the Russians is to violently control all the mining sites in the Central African Republic to the profit of the Russian mafia of Wagner.”

“The heavily-armed Russian mercenaries with the support of the FACA soldiers carried out a vast military operation on the mining sites in Kouki. They arrested several persons and some of those who were trying to escape were gunned down. Many of those who were arrested were tied to trees before being tortured by the Russians.”

There are concerns among the populace that the renewed violence against the civilian populations by the Russians should prick the consciences of human rights organisations and the civil society.

“This is troubling. With the multiple exactions committed by FACA soldiers and Russian mercenaries on the civilian populations, no human rights organisation, much less the civil society dare condemn the atrocities. They are all afraid,” said another source. 

The Russian mercenaries of Wagner Security Group first came to the Central African Republic in 2018 as military trainers before extending their tentacles into the spheres of politics, intelligence and economic activities involving mostly the illicit exploitation of mineral resources in the country.

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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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