Armed ViolenceNews

Russian Mercenaries Torture Central African Businessman To Death

The Russian mercenaries were said to have arrested the businessman from his shop, alleging that he was providing services to rebels.

Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group have been accused of torturing a 30-year-old Central African Republic business person to death.

Local sources told HumAngle that the Russians arrested the victim, Moubarak, in his pharmacy in a crowded area of Lawane quarter.

They allegedly took him away and eventually tortured him to death. 

One of the sources said the news of his death was made public a week after his murder.

He said there was anger among the people who wanted to protest the businessman’s death, but the Russians suspected him to be the doctor to rebel.

The Russian mercenaries arrested him on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at about 12 midday.

According to sources, Moubarak was considered the doctor of the people and pharmacist of everybody.

“He was born in Bornou and grew up in Bornou. Suspected by the Russian mercenaries of being the doctor of rebel leader Ali Darassa, Moubarak was kidnapped and then tortured before eventually being executed by the Wagner security mercenaries,” the source said. 

“However, the news of his death was not relayed to his family until yesterday, though all the administrative arms of government, including the prefect, sub-prefect, mayor as well as the commissioner of police and the gendarmerie brigade commander, were on the know but kept the knowledge a secret.”

Between the one week since his arrest, his parents visited the gendarmerie, the police, and the military base but could not find him.

“The prefect and the local police chief confirmed to Moubarak’s family that he was alive and even asked the family to pay some money to facilitate negotiations for his release.”

“The parents eventually raised 1.5 million FCFA (about 3,000 US dollars) to this effect. However, four days after the payment of this money, there was no news about Moubarak. It was only on June 30 that the prefect sent a text message to Moubarak’s parents announcing his death, but without the corpse, the parents refused to accept the sad news.”

“By July 3, 2022, the news became an open secret in Bambari, and Moubarak’s body in an advanced state of decomposition was found around the river Ouaka by passers-by.”

The people of Bornou quarter and environs believed that the death of Moubarak is an enormous loss.

“He was a man who did not take much to money. He healed us without asking for money first. It was our health that interested him above all. What the Russians have done is equivalent to killing all of us,” said a resident of Hadj quarter in Bambari.

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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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