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In an annual report, the UN denounces “violations of international humanitarian law” committed by Russian “instructors” in the Central African Republic, with the armed forces.
Russian “instructors” sent to the Central African Republic committed, with the Central African forces, “violations of international humanitarian law”, according to an annual report by UN experts in charge of this country.
If Moscow argues that these “instructors” are not armed and do not participate in the fighting, the group of experts claims to have received “confidential testimonies on an excessive use of force by the Faca (Central African army) and Russian instructors in several regions visited “, according to this document recently submitted to the Security Council and obtained Monday June 28 by AFP.
Among the “violations of international humanitarian law committed by the soldiers of the Faca and Russian instructors”, figure in particular “indiscriminate assassinations, the occupation of schools and large-scale looting, including of humanitarian organizations”, specify the experts.
“The group has received numerous reports of indiscriminate killings of unarmed civilians by Russian instructors,” insists the report, which details several events and notes their presence in the Central African mining regions.
The number of “instructors” in question
If on April 18, Moscow recognized the deployment in the Central African Republic of “532 instructors” and affirmed that this number “had never exceeded 550”, the experts “noted that several sources estimated that this figure was considerably higher, ranging from 800 at 2,100 “.
This estimate does not include 600 additional Russian instructors whose deployment was announced to the UN in May by the Central African Republic.
The experts “also received multiple testimonies from local sources and Faca according to which the deployed instructors included individuals who identified themselves as nationals of Libya, Syria and other countries”, they specify in their document.
Numerous testimonies in multiple places in the Central African Republic, from local authorities, Faca, internal security forces, also report “an active participation of Russian instructors in combat on the ground, often at the head of operations and not as support for the Faca during their advances in towns and villages, ”the report also indicates.
Abuses by the Coalition of Patriots
The document also details the abuses committed against civilians by the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), created at the end of 2020 and bringing together several armed groups controlling large parts of the country and determined to bring down Central African power.
“Widespread violations of international humanitarian law committed by groups affiliated with the CPC included the forced recruitment of children, attacks on peacekeepers, cases of sexual violence and looting of humanitarian organizations,” experts said.
In its recommendations, the UN group recommends that the Security Council expand its list of people sanctioned in the Central African Republic and extend the arms embargo, which expires on July 31 and including the Central African Republic, Russia and China. and several African countries are asking for the lifting.