August 3, 2021

France freezes its budget aid and military cooperation with the Central African Republic

France has frozen its budgetary aid to the Central African Republic and suspended its military cooperation with this Central African State judged ” partner in crime “ of an anti-French campaign remotely controlled by Russia, we learned on Monday, June 7 from the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

“On several occasions, the Central African authorities have made commitments that they have not kept, both politically towards the opposition and on behavior towards France, which is the target of a massive disinformation campaign in the Central African Republic ”, said Paris: “The Russians are not for nothing, but the Central Africans are at best complicit in this campaign. “

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At the end of April, the five French military aid workers who were stationed at the Central African defense ministry were recalled to Paris. Military training provided to the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) by troops stationed in Gabon has been interrupted, the ministry said, confirming information from the news site. Mediapart.

France, a former colonial power, however, continues to contribute around 100 soldiers to the European mission EUTM-RCA, which mobilizes nearly 200 to train the FACA. The ten soldiers participating in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, Minusca, which has 12,000 peacekeepers there.

Hundreds of Russian paramilitaries

French budgetary aid, in the order of 10 million euros, is also “Suspended until further notice”, said for its part the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Paris, on the other hand, maintains projects directly benefiting the Central African population as well as its humanitarian aid, ie around 6 million euros, he added.

France, which intervened from 2013 to 2016 as part of Operation “Sangaris” to put an end to the violence, handed over 1,400 assault rifles to the FACA in December 2018, after having obtained an exemption from the embargo of the UN. A few months earlier, Russia had made a remarkable entry into this former French “pre-square” by delivering weapons to the FACA in early 2018 and by installing a large contingent of military personnel there.“Instructors”. An arrival accompanied by a virulent campaign of anti-French disinformation.

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In December 2020, Russia urgently dispatched hundreds of paramilitaries to the aid of the destitute army of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, threatened by a rebellion. Many witnesses and NGOs assure that these paramilitaries are fighters of the Russian private security group Wagner, which Moscow denies.

The Central African Republic, a country of 4.5 million inhabitants classified among the poorest in the world, fell into violence and chaos in 2013, after the overthrow of President François Bozizé by the Séléka rebellion. In this country where the State controls only a small part of the territory, armed groups compete for the control of resources (diamonds, gold, cattle, etc.).

The World with AFP