The leader of the Central African Republic Rebels (CAR) main rebel coalition, the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), has asked French President Emmanuel Macron for support against Russian military advisers.
On February 5, a message by CPC leader François Bozizé to Macron, containing the request for help, was leaked. The message was sent on January 11.
Former #CentralAfricanRepublic leader François Bozize recently wrote a letter to Emmanuel Macron asking him to help the rebel group Coalition of Patriots for Change in the CAR. In the letter, he particularly condemns the activities of the Russian PMCs,the Wagner Group
? Courtesy pic.twitter.com/8DlgQxrLDo
— ASISC (@ASISC_) February 5, 2021
In the leaked message, Bozizé accuses Russia of intervening in the CAR’s last elections, which was held in December. President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the main foe of the CPC, was reelected with over 53% of votes.
“The CAR and the Coalition [CPC] would like France to intervene so that the unconstitutional and evil alliance of the United Nations – Russian Federation – Wagner Group – Rwanda does not become the mastermind of a genocide,” the message reads. “The CAR needs the arbitration and support of France so that the Central Africans can once again be masters of their destiny and their initial ambitions.”
CPC fighters have been attempting to capture the capital, Bangui, in order to overthrow President Touadéra for a while now.
The capital is guarded by a coalition of government forces, Russian advisers, Rwandan troops and UN peacekeepers. Operations are ongoing to secure other parts of the war-torn country.
French troops withdrew from the CAR in 2016 after a two-year intervention that failed to put an end to the country’s civil war. Now, the European Union is running a training program for government forces supporting President Touadéra.
While France is uncomfortable with the Russian presence within its sphere of influence in Africa, it will not likely take any action. Russian forces are present in the CAR at the request of the legitimate government and in coordination with the UN. Furthermore, Moscow can pressure Paris in other areas, for the example the Middle East, in response to any move against its forces in the CAR.
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