Russian Mercenaries Kill Cleric, 5 Others In Central African Republic

The local population in Bambari and Ndachima, Central African Republic, are mourning the losses of their leaders whom locals have said were murdered by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner group.

The Imam of Ndachima, a locality near Bambari in the Ouaka prefecture of the Central African Republic, and five other persons were killed on Saturday, April 23, by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group.

The murder of Imam Faki Zakaria comes on the heels of the Mayor of Ndachima’s murder by Russian mercenaries last week.

According to local authorities, the Imam and the five others were kidnapped by the Russian mercenaries before they were executed.

Their bodies were found a day after they were kidnapped.

“The Imam came to Bambari for the Friday prayers and was on his way back to Ndachima when he was kidnapped and executed before his body was burnt as firewood,” a local who declined to be named for his safety told HumAngle.

“The body was not found alone but was accompanied by five other bodies also burnt out.”

The reasons for their kidnap and murder were not known.

Their assassination has traumatised the populations of Bambari and Ndachima but the government has not made any official statement about the incident.

Since the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group helped save President Touadera from an attack by forces of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) who were marching on the capital Bangui in Jan. 2021, following his contested victory in the Dec. 27, 2020 presidential elections, the Central African Republic leader seems to have handed over the control of the country to the Russians who have been looting the natural resources of the country and killing its citizens. 

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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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