UN Probes Alleged Killings By Russian Mercenaries And Central African Republic Soldiers

Hundreds of Russian paramilitary forces of the Wagner group who have been fighting side-by-side the Central African Republic army since 2018 remain in the country and have been accused of committing several atrocities and human rights violations.

The United Nations on Friday, April 15, announced the opening of investigations into alleged massacres of 10 civilians by Russian mercenaries and soldiers of the Central African Republic national army, FACA, in Gordile and Ndah villages.

On April 11 and 12, 2022, in Gordile and Ndah villages, situated more than 1,000 km to the northeast of Bangui, elements of FACA and their allies of the Russian Wagner Security Group, carried out an operation during which they killed civilians, according to security, humanitarian, and administrative sources.

“Between 10 and 15 civilians were killed. An investigation has been opened by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA),” the UN peacekeeping mission said.

According to the UN Director of Communications in the Central African Republic, Charles Bambara, the UN has since 2014 deployed about 14,000 Blue Helmets in the Central African Republic.

“MINUSCA would not make any other commentary before the end of the investigations.”

The Central African Republic presidential spokesperson, Albert Yaloke Mokpeme, on his part said he was not aware of  such an investigation by MINUSCA.

President Faustin Archange Touadera was re-elected in Dec. 2020 in polls where only one in three electorates voted due to the insecurity in the country, three quarters of which was occupied by armed groups at the time.

Armed groups under the umbrella of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) led by former president, Francois Bozize, launched an attack against the capital Bangui and President Touadera’s regime was saved by the help of Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group.

Hundreds of Russian paramilitary forces who have been fighting side-by-side the Central African Republic army since 2018 remain in the country and have been accused of committing several atrocities and human rights violations against the civilian populations.

On March 30, 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet condemned the “serious violations of human rights in the Central African Republic involving murders and sexual violence on civilians committed by rebel groups and soldiers and their Russian allies”.

These violations are what MINUSCA has opened investigations into.

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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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