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An armed rebel group on Monday attacked a town 300 kilometers from Bangui, the Central African capital. Seven people died, the spokesperson for the peacekeepers of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca) told AFP on Wednesday.
In the Central African Republic, a new rebel attack left 7 dead on Monday (June 28) in the town of Alindao, 300 kilometers east of Bangui, the spokesperson for the peacekeepers of Minusca told AFP on Wednesday. .
Members of the Unit for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), one of the main rebel armed groups, launched on Monday “several simultaneous attacks on the checkpoints and camps of the Central African armed forces,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Abdoulaziz. Fall.
The peacekeepers pushed back the rebels who withdrew three kilometers from the city, according to the same source. “Currently the Central African armed forces are on site in the city with us,” said Abdoulaziz Fall, adding that 60 Nepalese peacekeepers have been sent as reinforcements to Alindao.
The UPC is the best equipped group in the Central African Republic, mainly active in the east of the country where its members control numerous mineral deposits.
Since the end of December 2020, the government forces have succeeded in taking back from the rebels the towns and a good part of two thirds of the country which they had controlled for several years, mainly thanks to the reinforcement of Rwandan soldiers and the presence of hundreds of Russian paramilitaries fighting. by their side.
The Central African Republic, the second poorest country in the world according to the UN, has been ravaged by a civil war since 2013. However, it has decreased in intensity since 2018.
The Russian army to the rescue
Indeed, at the request of Bangui, Russia began in 2018 to deploy these paramilitaries, in particular to train the Central African army and ensure the close security of President Faustin Archange Touadéra. Their troops were reinforced at the end of 2020 to come to the rescue of a very destitute army in the face of the offensive launched by the rebels to defeat the re-election of Archange Touadéra.
Moscow officially recognizes the presence of 1135 “unarmed instructors” but the NGOs present on the ground, France and the UN claim that some of them are men from the private Russian security group Wagner, which Moscow denies .
In an expert report published Wednesday, the UN assures that the Russian “instructors” committed, with the Central African army, “violations of international humanitarian law” including “indiscriminate assassinations”. The sending of these paramilitaries is part of a vast diplomatic and financial offensive launched by Moscow in this former French colony. Russia delivered arms there thanks to occasional relaxations of the UN embargo to allow it, and signed a military cooperation agreement with Bangui.
At the same time, the Central African government has granted mining permits, for the exploitation of gold and diamonds in particular, to Russian companies associated with businessman Evguéni Prigojine. Very close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he is suspected of being Wagner’s main financier.