The “cleaning up” operation launched last week by the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner group against rebels of the Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation (3R) movement in the Northwest of the Central African Republic continues with casualties recorded on both sides.
Clashes within the past few days have been concentrated in localities close to the border with Cameroon and the violence has been intensifying by the day.
“It is a thorough clean up by the Russian paramilitary forces that is currently going on with the collaboration of soldiers of the Central African Republic national army FACA in order to uproot the 3R rebels from their positions in the locality of Sabewa, not far from the border with Cameroon,” said a sub-officer of FACA by telephone from Bouar.
“As of now, the fighting is far from being over because though the Russians have superior fire power, the 3R rebels are masters of the terrain.”
Last Saturday, Aug. 21 in the locality of Sabewa, a cattle rearer was seriously wounded in his house by the Russian mercenaries. But the man was able to flee and is reported to be receiving treatment in the Ngaoui hospital in Cameroon.
Twenty-four hours earlier in Safou, a helicopter belonging to the Russians was hit by rebel fire which shattered all the glass windows and it is currently being repaired in Koui.
Last Monday, Aug. 23, three pick-ups belonging to the Russian were burnt down by the rebels and one officer of the Wagner group was reported killed in combat.
As of the time of filing this report, it was not immediately clear the casualty figure on the side of the rebels, although local sources say some rebels died in clashes in the Bouzou zone.
The current clashes are concentrated in the localities of Bouzou, Sanguere, Tourwa, Sabewa and Babb-Alim, Nana-Mambere, Ouham-Pende and Lim-Pende.
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