Armed ViolenceNews

Russian Mercenaries Kill 4 Traders In Kouango, Central African Republic

The traders had previously been attacked and extorted by rebels before the Russian mercenaries killed them.

Four men were reported killed on Monday, Dec. 6, by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group in the sub-prefecture of Kouango in the Central African Republic.

Local sources said the killings might be connected to an attack on Thursday, Dec. 2, by rebels of the Unite pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) on Central African Republic national army, FACA, positions in Kouango.

The attack by the rebels on Thursday led to the death of one police officer, two FACA soldiers and two civilians.

Between that Thursday and Monday, Dec. 6, several business places were looted while businesspersons were visited by assailants who extorted large sums of money from them.

During this period, all the UPC rebels were reported to have withdrawn from Kouango following information that Russian mercenaries were on their way to the town.

“Around 1 p.m. on Monday, Russian mercenaries, who had arrived in the town 24 hours earlier, visited four Muslim businessmen in their houses and killed them in cold blood,” a local who did not want to be named in the media told HumAngle. 

“The Russians accused the four businessmen of financing the UPC rebels but the families of the murdered men reject the accusations. The families of the killed men say the UPC rebels visited the men and forced them into giving them money. They did not give the money voluntarily.”

According to the children of the victims, the murder of their fathers by the Russian mercenaries were criminal acts which should not go unpunished.

“These murders are once more an indication of how far the Russians are willing to go in their defiance of the authorities and people of the Central African Republic. Justice must be done and seen to be done,” one of them who preferred anonymity for his safety said.

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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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