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Russian Mercenaries Stop UN Forces From Demining Operations In Central African Republic

A UN official has decried the obstruction of MINUSCA forces from demining activities in the Central African Republic.

Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group who have been helping the Central African Republic armed forces fight armed groups are being accused of blocking the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSCA) from carrying out demining operations in Northwest CAR.

The CAR government is expected to collaborate with the MINUSCA forces in the demining operations but the government forces have been dragging their feet in participating in the demining.

“The reality is that it is the Russian mercenaries who are preventing the UN forces from carrying out the demining operations on the fallacious excuse that they are currently carrying out military operations against combatants of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) in Baboua,” a senior civil society activist told HumAngle in Bangui Friday morning on condition of anonymity.

“Our partners are the FACA forces, with whom we essentially work. The coordination mechanisms which were put in place were to permit that there should not be obstructions to the transportation of humanitarian aid and that has functioned well during a certain period, but which is facing some difficulties now. Thus, it is the explanation of what is causing these difficulties in coordination on the ground that we are faced with,” declared Lt.Col. Abdoul Aziz Fall, the MINUSCA spokesperson, during the weekly press briefing in Bangui on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

According to the MINUSCA spokesperson, demining operations have been perturbed because of the lack of coordination.

“Speaking of demining, our teams have gone ahead with the clearing of two highways namely that which leaves from Bouar right up to Bocaranga, followed by that from Bocaranga to Bang.”

“During the same time, we have activities which were previewed to clear the highway which leads for example to Dongbaike which is on the east of Baboua and to go down to the south in Nguia Bouar. Unfortunately, our teams on the ground were prevented from access to this zone to continue the demining,” added Lt.Col. Fall.

According to him, the reasons given by FACA is that there are military operations currently going on against the CPC rebels in the area.

“This kind of shortcoming happens because there is a default in coordination on the ground,” he 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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