1 March 201910:09

Accusations against Russian instructors in Central African Republic

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On February 12, 2019, Radio France Internationale published a report titled “Central African Republic: The UN investigates torture accusations against Russians.” This fake was circulated by a number of foreign media outlets.

In this regard we would like to divert categorically such conjectures and insinuations as completely baseless.  All known to us so far reports and proceedings distributed among members of the UN Security Council, including confidential ones and with limited public access, do not contain such information.

We would like to point out that the Russian instructors were invited to the Central African Republic by the country’s leadership to provide assistance in the training of Central African troops and law enforcement officers. So far, Russian specialists have trained over 2,000 troops and law enforcement officers in the CAR, who have already started performing urgent tasks involving the protection of civilians, maintaining security and establishing the government’s authority across the entire state.

CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra as well as Minister of National Defence and Reconstruction of the Army Marie-Noëlle Koyara have repeatedly expressed high regard for Russia’s assistance in enhancing the performance of Central African troops.

We believe that the accusations of involvement in the interrogation and torture of a CAR citizen in Bambari laid by Radio France Internationale against the Russian instructors operating in the CAR are defamatory. We would like to specifically point out that the confidential report by the panel of experts on the sanctions against the CAR that Radio France Internationale refers to does not contain any mention of the Russians’ involvement, along with CAR personnel, in any unlawful actions in the territory of the Central African Republic.

In this context, we would like to note recent statements by CAR Minister of Public Security and Territorial Administration Henri Wanzet Linguissara, who in his conversation with a Federal News Agency (Russia) correspondent said that the report about a  MINUSCA investigation into torture involving Russian military instructors is a blatant lie. He said that the Mission does not have a mandate to conduct any investigation that is not directly related to the activities of the peacemaking organisation. “As Minister of Public Security, I confirm that the Russians accused of torture are simply instructors and any investigations are within the competence of police and gendarmerie under the jurisdiction of the investigative committee and the court of appeal of Bambari, in this case,” he stressed in an interview with the Federal News Agency.


http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20190212-rca-enquete-onu-accusations-torture-portees-russes

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