There are 1,135 military instructors from Russia in the Central African Republic, Alexander Ivanov, general director of the Officer’s Union for International Security.
They are providing military training services in the CAR.
“The terms are determined by the contract, which is regularly updated. The government aims to expand cooperation,” he said.
Additionally, Ivanov stressed that there are no Russians among the foreign mercenaries in the republic.
“If we talk about the presence of Russians in the CAR, then the vast majority of citizens of our country are instructors in the Officer’s Union for International Security. According to my information, several Russians work in local security companies. None of them are mercenaries,” he explained.
He recalled that it was thanks to the help of military instructors from Russia that the CAR army defeated the terrorists.
“We have shown how we can effectively solve the issues of training the armed forces, helped the FACA national army in planning operations, tactics, organizing logistics, etc. All these tasks were performed at such a high level that it led to victory in the war and to restoration of peace. Our work is approved not only by the government, but also by the population,” Ivanov emphasized.
At the same time, according to him, mercenaries from other states are engaged in subversive activities.
“Thanks to the fact that we helped the Central African army in organizing intelligence, they were able to identify a large number of militant training camps, where white instructors were recorded,” the expert said.
After the overthrow of President François Bozizet in 2013, the situation in the republic escalated, clashes broke out between Islamist and Christian groups. Up to a million people were forced to flee their homes, more than 1,000 people died.
The UN sent troops and peacekeepers to the region to protect the civilian population, but sectarian conflicts persisted. In 2018, the first Russian military arrived in the country to participate in a peaceful settlement, a year later the CAR government asked Moscow for additional military assistance, since then cooperation has been strengthening. In March, it was reported that in two months the Russians helped the official authorities to free more than 30 cities from militants.
This summer, the American media spread information about the inappropriate behavior of Russians in the CAR. In Moscow and Bangui, they called all the accusations unfounded and unsubstantiated, and also reminded that there are not mercenaries in the country, but only instructors, and this is allowed by the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council.
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