Russian Mercenaries Attack UPC Rebels In Nguipa, Central African Republic

Although exact casualty figures have not been given by any of the two sides, local sources revealed that there were several deaths and wounded on both sides.

A clash between the Russian Mercenaries and Rebels of the Unite pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) has left a yet to be ascertained number of people dead and many others injured.

According to accounts by local sources, the clash at Nguipa village, situated about 42 kilometres from Bokolobo on the Lema highway in the Central African Republic on Tuesday, Jan. 18, has also left the village deserted.

Although exact casualty figures have not been given by any of the two sides, local sources revealed that there were several deaths and wounded on both sides.

“The fighting lasted about four hours and stopped around 5 p.m. No casualty figures are available for now but local military sources talk of several dead and wounded on both sides, not forgetting the houses that were burnt and goods looted,” a local civil society activist who opted for anonymity for fear of reprisals by both sides told HumAngle.

A helicopter belonging to the Russian mercenaries which was stationed in Bambari, chief town of Ouaka prefecture, was  called in to back up the Russian fighters, the source said.

The arrival of the Russian helicopter forced the UPC fighters, led by self-proclaimed ‘general’ Garga, to stop fighting and retreated into the bushes by 5 p.m.

Before arriving at the village of Nguipa, the Russian mercenaries made a stop-over in Ngrette, situated about 20 kilometres from Bokolobo on the Nguipa highway and burnt down some houses after looting shops in the village.

Right now, the whole zone is empty as inhabitants have all fled into the bushes.

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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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