New colonialism: what France and Russia are fighting for in Central Africa
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New colonialism: what France and Russia are fighting for in Central Africa

23 December 2020, 10:51
The civil war in the Central African Republic, which has been smoldering since the turn of the millennium, has suddenly resumed.

As you know, on December 20, in the Central African Republic, rebel units of the anti-government coalition captured the city of Grimari, located 300 km northeast of the country's capital, Bangui. The core of the rebel forces is the Anti-Balaka Movement, an anti-Islamist movement formed by local Christian communities. The surge in insurgency began immediately after the announcement last week of the creation of the Coalition of Patriots for Change, which includes the largest anti-government groups totaling more than 10,000 people. For the CARs, this is a huge amount. Rebel units are already in close proximity to the capital of the CAR, Bangui.

It is reported that the native president of Touadera is under the protection of Russian mercenaries, since Russia has sent several hundred military and equipment to the Central African Republic, said the representative of the CAR government, Anj Maxim Kazagi.

We are talking about regular troops and heavy weapons. The official did not name the exact number of the redeployed group. He referred to existing bilateral agreements on military assistance. Kazagi added that Rwanda sent several hundred more soldiers to the CAR, these fighters are already in place and took part in the battles.

The Russian ambassador to the CAR Titorenko denied this message, saying that there are only five servicemen of the Russian Defense Ministry in the country.

“There is no doubt that the Kremlin has special interests in this part of the world. It is not difficult to guess what interests exactly - it is in such godforsaken places that it is easiest to prepare caches and shelters in case of unforeseen events in your country. - Nesmiyan considers. - Naturally, the rebellion that broke out in the key country of the future evacuation chain caused a nervous reaction in the Kremlin. Therefore, immediate "help" to the fraternal dictatorial regime. The sharp rise in the insurgency is most likely aimed not only at removing the current President Touadera, but also at eliminating the Kremlin's project to create caches and storage facilities for loot in Russia in this country. There is no doubt that the Kremlin is creating a system of shelters and stolen goods in the CAR and a number of other African countries. The liquidation of Orkhan Dzhemal's group, which risked making an attempt to investigate what is happening in the CAR in light of the suspicious activity of Russian mercenaries and state structures, best of all shows that the Kremlin is extremely nervous about this kind of interest.

It should be remembered that the CAR is the territory of France's interests, and Russia, having broken in there without demand, created an excuse for the French to respond to such an unceremonious invasion.

If the current uprising is organized by the French, then they, of course, will try not only to throw out the aliens, but also to requisition the stored stocks of valuables that are imported from Russia to the territory of the CAR. According to a number of reports (which, as usual, are difficult to verify), the rebels inflicted heavy losses on government forces and Russian mercenaries in several days of fighting..."

Now the UN armed forces are operating on the territory of the CAR, which were introduced there as peacekeepers in 2014, Russian mercenaries, the Rwandan military and the country's six largest armed groups opposing them.

On Monday morning, the rebels captured the administrative center of Lobai Prefecture, Mbayki City. About 1,000 rebels on 300 motorcycles control the city just outside the capital, Bangui. The rebels also have 14 trucks.

Corbeau News reports https://corbeaunews-centrafrique.com/derniere-heure-la-ville-de-mbaiki-vient-de-tomber-officiellement-aux-mains-des-rebelles/ that FACA soldiers, like Russian the mercenaries have been defeated, but according to other sources, the fighting is still ongoing, explosions of heavy weapons are heard. The Russian military asked all residents to leave the city before the start of a large-scale offensive. 3R rebel leader Abas Siddiqi is wounded, as are François Bozize's 2 sons.

Lobay Prefecture has traditionally been considered the safest region in the country, located south and west of the capital. The outbreak of the uprising in the south-west of Bangui, and even in the immediate vicinity of the military center of Berengo (where Russian military instructors are located) is the most unexpected and unpredictable move of the rebels.

According to some reports, there are 9,000 rebels in the CPC coalition, which are now moving from the north and northwest towards Bangui, occupying key cities on their way. The creation of the Coalition of Patriots for Change was announced last Saturday.

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The civil war has continued in the CAR since 2001. CAR is considered the poorest country in Africa. With an impressive (as large as Ukraine) size, its population is only 6 million people. This year, its president Faustin Touadera is set to be re-elected for a new term, with the first round of selection to take place on December 27. But the former President Boziza was forbidden by the Constitutional Court of the country to be elected, thereby forcing him to "come forward" to meet with his voters. The yellow, green and blue spots on the map represent areas of the country that support Bozize in his activities.

The Russians appeared in the Central African Republic at the invitation of Touadera, experts from the Mysl-Neshysli channel write:

“In October 2017, Touadera met in Sochi with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and in March this year Moscow officially announced its decision to provide the CAR with free military assistance. This resulted in the dispatch of about 200 instructors". The military training center of Russian instructors was housed in the former residence of the ousted cannibal dictator Jean Bedel Bokassa.

In May 2018, President Touadera came to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, where he met with Putin, and apparently received some kind of personal guarantees. After that, the Wagnerites took on the function of the CAR President's personal guard. In response, the Russians were allowed access to the country's natural resources - Prigozhin's structures "are mining precious stones in the republic, and also showing interest in gold mines and the woodworking business". The “chef Putin” is also interested in rich deposits of uranium and cobalt, and, of course, oil. At least once, Prigozhin himself met with Touadera.

Let us remind you that the military journalists Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguev and Kirill Radchenko, who were killed in the CAR, were engaged in the investigation of the activities of the "Wagnerites", collecting information about the mercenaries' interest in local gold mines...

A few days ago, Facebook found two rival "troll factories" in Africa at once - from Russia and France. “The accounts of the French network wrote about the positive influence of France on security in Central Africa and announced plans for Russian interference in the elections in the CAR. Russian trolls, in turn, wrote about the fight of the Russian Federation against terrorism in the countries of North Africa, about plans to supply the Sputnik V vaccine to the region and criticized France's foreign policy. " It is difficult to talk about the effectiveness of this activity, due to the weak Internet penetration of the local population, but Prigozhin allocated money to create a controlled radio station Lengo Songo 98.8 FM "in preparation for the elections." "Radio is the most popular and often the only source of information for the local population"...

At the UN, what is happening is called a pre-election crisis.

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