Central African Republic: Russia announces the departure of reinforcements deployed in the country


A Russian personnel carrier parade in Bangui on October 15, 2020. Camille Laffont / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

While the pressure has increased on the capital, Bangui, this week, Russia informed the United Nations of the departure of one of the elements deployed since December 2020 in the Central African Republic, according to a letter addressed to the UN sanction committee. responsible for monitoring the embargo in force in the country and which RFI was able to consult.

This does not mean the end of the Russian presence, however.


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From our special correspondent in Bangui

Florence Morice

Russia announces the departure of “ 

4 helicopters

 ”, as well as



”, without saying exactly how many.

Knowing that a certain vagueness reigns in Bangui on the nature and the exact scale of the Russian reinforcements sent for the presidential election.

Moscow first denied sending "

regular forces

", then officially declared the arrival of " 

300 unarmed instructors

 " to support the " 


 " of the Central African army and secure the election.

►Also read: Central African Republic: what do we know about the Russian military presence in the country?

However, significant reinforcements in material were reported on arrival at Mpoko airport.

Concurring testimonies show the presence of Russian elements in recent weeks in the theater of operations.

Privately, too, several diplomatic sources also suspect that some of them are in fact Russian paramilitaries.

Thanks to the " 

Russian special forces


As for the Head of State Faustin-Archange Touadéra, it is to the “ 

Russian special forces

 ” that he thanked during his speech on December 31.

After a difficult start, Minusca is now cooperating on the ground with these Russian forces.

Several coordination meetings have taken place.

It should also be remembered that in the meantime, Moscow notified the sanctions committee of the arrival of two 

 additional "

unarmed helicopters


And it made New York cringe.

Certain countries of the Security Council have asked for clarifications on this subject which Russia did not wish to give.

At Bangui's request, a new meeting is scheduled at the UN next week on the Central African Republic.

According to a letter that RFI consulted, the CAR is asking the UN for additional reinforcements, as well as a lifting - even temporary - of the arms embargo in force.

Lifting of the partial arms embargo

In the country, the MCU, the movement of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, asked in a statement lifting the

partial embargo on weapon


 in force in the country.

This is a request formulated regularly by the country's authorities.

This new call comes 3 days after the rebel coalition of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) carried out its first repulsed offensives on the outskirts of the capital Bangui.

And while the country's authorities have requested a United Nations security meeting next week on the subject.

“Who is this citizen who cannot accept that we can place his country ad vitam aeternam under embargo like that?

, asks

Mathieu Simplice Sarandji, national executive secretary of the United Hearts Movement (MCU). 

We are a sovereign people who also need to defend the interests of their people.

This is why we are asking the Security Council to lift this embargo so that our defense and security forces have free rein to act in order to defend the Central African people.


Defend the interests of the country


Does this mean that the forces currently present are not sufficient against the rebel coalition, the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC)?

“I am not saying that,

answers Mathieu Simplice Sarandji.

But, it is said that we are better served than by ourselves.

I salute everyone's intervention.

The presence of the forces which are on the national territory which fight alongside our Faca, our elements of the gendarmerie and the police.

But they are not here to stay with us forever.


The latter concluded:

We should still have the ability to defend the interests of our country by counting on our own forces.

This is why the lifting of this embargo is beneficial for us



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  • Central African Republic

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