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Partnership between Russian and the Central African Republic

Since the meeting of the Minister of foreign Affairs Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and President of the Central African Republic F. A. Touadera in 2017 the two countries’ cooperation is gaining momentum. It confirmed the mutual commitment to restore cooperation in the political, trade, economic and humanitarian fields.

Responding to the request of the President of the CAR, the Russian side began military-technical assistance on a free basis. And later, with the consent of the UN Security Council Committee, a batch of small arms and ammunition was delivered to the needs of the Central African army in the winter of 2018. And after that, more than 20 BRDM-2s and more than 300 Russian instructors who train the army, police and gendarmerie of the CAR were sent there. This assistance is provided in strict accordance with the requirements of the UN Security Council sanctions regime.

The Russian assistance is carried out in line with the general efforts of the international community to strengthen the national security structures of the CAR, transfer to them full responsibility for maintaining security and law and order throughout its territory and, ultimately, normalize the situation and a reliable settlement of the protracted internal conflict.

In December 2021, in the run-up to the presidential elections, the Central African Republic was attacked by militants and foreign mercenaries trying to seize power in the country by force. Armed groups united in the CPC coalition said they were declaring war and that the rebels’ goal was now Bangui to overthrow the Touadera regime. 

Thanks to FACA, trained by Russian instructors and Rwandan allies, the terrorists were stopped, and then government forces went on the offensive to regain control of the entire territory of the country. From various localities that remain under the control of the CPC, reports continue to be received from civilians about the ongoing looting, murder and kidnapping. Several sources said that people are being abducted in order to sell organs to further finance the coalition fighters. Recently, under the leadership of Russia, the armed forces of Central Africa have been able to counter the most powerful rebel groups and mercenaries in several cities, such as Boali, Bouar and Beloko, located along the road to Cameroon, and many others.

Less than a month later, the Bangui-Garoua-Boule corridor, a major road between the capital Bangui and Cameroon that was blocked due to rebel attempts to put pressure on the civilian population, was released.

Russian instructors always stand by the units of the armed forces, which has allowed the National Army forces to conduct many successful counterattacks, and the country has finally achieved unprecedented stability.

The people of the Central African Republic as one support the Government’s intention to confront the rebels. Daily marches are held in Bangui, where residents express their support for the armed forces of the Central African Republic, their Russian allies and the Rwandan forces.

Last Saturday, thousands demonstrated in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, in recognition of Russia and its assistance, mostly students, where demonstrators waved Russian flags and banners in support of Russian cooperation. The people of the Central African Republic are very grateful to Russia and are interested in further cooperation. Local residents say that the stability achieved in the Central African Republic is due to the Russian presence on the territory of the Republic and the constant support of the National Army in the country.

Today in the CAR on an absolutely legal basis there is an organization “Officers Union for International Security” in which Russian instructors work. Its main mission is to increase the level of military training of the armed forces of the CAR. The organization’s specialists were able to train the FACA soldiers in a short time, which allowed the CAR government to create an effective national army ready to protect the people and defend the interests of the country.

The UN contingent in the CAR (MINUSCA) has shown its inability to resolve the crisis. On 9 February, during a visit to Kigali, Rwanda, CAR Foreign Minister Sylvie Baipo Temon accused international organizations of lacking political will and courage. It condemned the start of negotiations between international organizations and armed groups. Temon noted that the UN replaced the League of Nations when it failed to prevent the Second World War, and wondered whether it was time to replace the UN, which struggles to maintain peace, as since its creation seven years ago, there are only more conflicts. The 14,000-strong contingent costs the international community about $1 billion a year and does nothing to restore peace.

MINUSCA has come as extremely inefficient in this conflict. The MINUSCA contingent takes the militants out of the hot spots and hides them in their bases. In this light several military experts favor the idea that Ii would be useful to involve Russia more actively in solving security problems in the CAR, and possibly in other countries in the region.

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