Lenta.ru – Varvara Koshechkina – May 20, 2021
Russian mercenaries stationed in the Central African Republic (CAR) to support government forces have been implicated in killings and rapes. They were accused of this by VICE World News, which collected a number of evidence of war crimes of Russians against the local population.
At least two residents of the CAR capital , Bangui , said they had been sexually assaulted by Russian mercenaries. According to one of them, they detained her on the street, suspecting her of having links with the rebels. They took the woman to a dilapidated house, where they held her for several hours, threatening to kill her and forcing her to perform oral sex.
Another injured woman said she was also detained, accused of having links with opponents of government forces. Three white men took her outside Bangui and raped her. After that, the woman continued to be raped for several hours by the CAR military, then she was thrown near the local stadium. At the same time, the victim admitted that in the place where she was subjected to violence, she was able to notice piles of bodies of dead people.
Also, the publication became aware of the involvement of Russians in the murder of a street vendor from the city of Bambari, in which one of the mercenary bases is located. According to the brother of the deceased, the mercenaries arrested the man, and then took him to his base, where they tortured him for three days – in particular, the merchant had his finger cut off. After that, the victim complained about the actions of the Russians to local authorities, and soon he was killed by rebels from a local armed group. At the same time, they told the man’s father that Russian mercenaries paid them for this.
Earlier in May, a similar investigation was released by RFI – the document was based on eyewitness testimony and documents of the UN working group on the use of mercenaries. It was noted that car car troops and their Russian allies were involved in hundreds of cases of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including 26 extrajudicial executions, five cases of rape, as well as 27 arbitrary arrests and imprisonment.
Russia in December 2020, at the request of the CAR authorities, sent 300 military instructors to the country. It was specified that on the spot they will be engaged in training servicemen of the national army of the republic. At the same time, there was information that the armies of the CAR began to help Russian mercenaries – they were spotted 130 kilometers northwest of the capital of the republic of Bangui, along with mercenaries from Rwanda and representatives of FACA.