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Russian Mercenaries Transfer Arrested Central African Republic Rebel Leaders To Bangui

The rebel leaders of the RPRC and MPC rebel groups were arrested last week by the Russian mercenaries, leading to questions over the status of their lives.

Two self-proclaimed ‘generals’ of the Rassemblement Patriotique pour le Renouveau de la Centrafrique (RPRC) and the other of the Mouvement Patriotique pour la Centrafrique (MPC) who were arrested by Russian mercenaries in Bria, Hauto-Kotto prefecture, last week have been transferred to Bangui, the Central African Republic capital.

The RPRC is led by minister Gontran Djono Ahaba while the MPC is led by Mahamat Alkhatim.

The two rebel leaders, ‘General’ Ramadan and ‘General’ Ahmed Faya have been handed over to the research and investigation section of the national gendarmerie, awaiting transfer to the prosecutor general.

Just before the announcement of their arrival in Bangui, speculations were rife on social media that they had been assassinated by Russian mercenaries and their corpses abandoned by the roadside in Grimari, raising tensions within the two rebel movements to which they belong which are both affiliated to the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

According to reliable security sources, ‘General’ Ahmed Faya and about 30 of his elements of the MPC had since last year laid down their arms and joined the process of disarmament initiated by the Central African Republic gov’t.

‘General’ Ramadan and some elements of the RPRC were also reported to have been part of the disarmament process but to the surprise of all, the two ‘generals’ were last year arrested at the Bria central market and detained at the local gendarmerie brigade for several months, while 10 of their followers were killed.

“Last week, a team of Russian mercenaries on their way from Zacko to Bangui collected the two ‘generals’ from the Bria gendarmerie where they were being held,”  a security official told HumAngle.

“However, their families not knowing the destination to which they were being taken started spreading rumours that they had been killed en route between Grimari and Sibut.”

Though it has now been established that the two former ‘generals’ are still alive, tension, especially within the RPRC, whose leader is actually a minister within the government of President Faustin Archange Touadera, remains very high with the fear of violence any time soon.

Some political tendencies in the national capital Bangui fault the Touadera government of becoming cannibalistic by “eating” its own allies through unprovoked arrests, detentions and killings, accusations the government is yet to reply to.

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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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