Russian Mercenaries To Start Collecting Coffee Tax In Central African Republic

Locals who spoke to HumAngle said the Russian mercenaries are replicating the behaviour of rebel groups they came to fight in Central African Republic.

The Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group in the Central African Republic have taken over the collection of taxes on coffee being exported to other countries.

According to locals in places like Bria and Ndele, the Russian mercenaries are now in charge of taxation of agricultural export products such as cocoa and coffee.

They told HumAngle that tax on each ton of coffee destined for export, which hitherto was extorted from producers by armed groups, especially the Seleka and Anti-Balaka, has been taken over by the Wagner Security Group.

Before the armed groups forcefully took over tax collection on agricultural exports, it was the responsibility of the Office de Réglementation de la Commercialisation et du Controle de Conditionnement des Produits Agricoles (ORCCPA).

Locals revealed that the Wagner Security Group has set up units in Bria, Ouadda, Ndele and other agricultural production zones for the collection of taxes for each ton of coffee bought by Sudanese businessmen who come to the Central African Republic to purchase the commodity.

Before the Russian mercenaries took over the collection of taxes on coffee in Bria and Ndele, the taxes constituted 70 per cent of the income of armed groups operating in the area. 

“With this new behaviour by the Russians which was exactly what the armed groups were doing and which was condemned by almost everybody including the Russians, we the people of the Central African Republic are beginning to ask whether the Russians are here to help us or to serve the regime in power fill the pockets of their leaders and their Russian allies,” said Reuben Bindolo, who identified himself as a human rights activist.

Support Our Journalism

There are millions of ordinary people affected by conflict in Africa whose stories are missing in the mainstream media. HumAngle is determined to tell those challenging and under-reported stories, hoping that the people impacted by these conflicts will find the safety and security they deserve.

To ensure that we continue to provide public service coverage, we have a small favour to ask you. We want you to be part of our journalistic endeavour by contributing a token to us.

Your donation will further promote a robust, free, and independent media.

Donate Here

Of course, we want our exclusive stories to reach as many people as possible and would appreciate it if you republish them. We only ask that you properly attribute to HumAngle, generally including the author's name, a link to the publication and a line of acknowledgement. Contact us for enquiries or requests.

Contact Us

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.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Translate »