CAR: “Russia will continue to operate with or without Wagner”, says government official

Russia will continue to operate in the Central African Republic, either with the Wagner group currently fighting the rebellion alongside the army, or with another contingent, stated a senior official in the presidency of the central African state.

This announcement comes shortly after the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, asserted that the paramilitary group who briefly rebelled against the Kremlin on Saturday will “continue” to operate in Mali and the Central African Republic, as instructors, according to Moscow.

Wednesday, first Vice-President of the Central African National Assembly, Evariste Ngamana, stated during an interview that “The situation in Russia in no way affects relations between the two countries”.

The government official added that they are not opposed to the USA’s and France’s help in keeping order in the country.

Wagner’s operations in the Central African Republic can be traced back to 2018, when hundreds of Wagner fighters arrived in the country to train the local army, according to Moscow.

Late 2020, President Touadéra, threatened by a rebel offensive on Bangui, called on Moscow to come to the rescue. More Wagner fighters landed, quickly driving the armed groups from most of the territory they controlled.

Since then, the UN, international NGOs and Paris have accused the Russians, as well as the rebels and Central African soldiers, of abuses and crimes against civilians.

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