Russian Mercenaries Detain, Torture Former Rebels In Central African Republic

The former rebels were at the mining site to eke out a living when they were arrested by the Russian mercenaries who tortured them.

At least five former rebels of the Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation (3R) movement were arrested over the weekend at a gold mining site in Kpande, situated in Nana-Membere prefecture, by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group.

The former rebels were detained and tortured by the Russians, according to local sources. 

Sources in Bakari said  the five were among a group of 15 former Anti-Balaka and 3R rebels who on Dec. 22, 2021 asked to be absorbed into the disarmament and reinsertion process in the Central African Republic.

“The 15 former combatants consisting of seven former Anti-Balaka and eight 3R rebels came out of the bushes in Bakari situated 115 kilometres from Bouar,” said a local source that did not want to be named.

The source said the former rebels  reported themselves to the local population before being taken to the Central African Republic national army (FACA) base.

“For the last four months, the former rebels have been abandoned to their own sort and with wives and children to feed but with nothing doing, they decided to go to the gold mining sites in Abba sub prefecture in search of daily bread,” the source said of what took them to the mining site.

“However, on arrival in Abba, the local population recognised them as former rebels and handed them over to the Russian mercenaries.”

After a series of interrogations by the Russians, the former rebels confessed to having been former rebels who integrated into the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

HumAngle understands that it was for that reason that the Russian mercenaries decided to give them the beating and torture of their lives.

In Bakari, two other former rebels who were identified by the local population as belonging to a gang of highway robbers were handed over to the research and investigations section of the gendarmerie.

They have been detained since Sunday, May 1. 

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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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