No effect on CAR by withdrawal of French military: Russian Ambassador
Russian Ambassador to Central African Republic (CAR) affirms that Moscow was able to curb the violent overthrow of power in the African country.
Russian Ambassador to Central African Republic (CAR) Alexander Bikantov said, as quoted by Sputnik, that the withdrawal of French forces from CAR had no effect on the country's situation, which is currently under the authority of its army, with the assistance of Russian instructors.
This comes shortly after the last French troops - 47 in total - in the Central African Republic left the country.
The top Russian diplomat affirmed that the situation in this area is changing, as the CAR army, alongside Russian instructors, successfully carries out operations to prevent the infiltration of militants of illegal armed groups into the country in order to seize settlements and attack government bodies, military personnel, police, in addition to gendarmes.
"As for the illegal armed groups, as a result of the successful defensive actions of the CAR army with the support of Russian instructors, most of the gang formations have been defeated and have essentially turned into small criminal groups engaged in looting and violence. Their leaders remain abroad," Bikantov said.
He also highlighted that the training provided by Russian instructors to CAR's military, police, and gendarmerie, as well as consultations in the battle against illegal armed organizations, are highly valued by the authorities.
"There is a consensus in public opinion that Russia was able to prevent the violent overthrow of power in the CAR and, as a result, a new wave of civil war," the Ambassador stressed, revealing that Prime Minister Felix Moloua informed him in a private conversation recently that "true friends are known in trouble" in reference to Russia.
"Today, there are 1,890 Russian instructors in the CAR. The government is interested in increasing their number. Relatively recently, Bangui has duly submitted the relevant request to the UNSC," Bikantov stated.
It is worth noting that France, CAR's former colonizer, sent 1,600 French troops to the country after a 2013 coup d'etat in the name of "stabilizing the country" amid a civil war. This would mark Paris' 7th military intervention since the country's independence in 1960, with the operation called Operation Sangaris.
Paris last year took the decision to suspend military cooperation, accusing the CAR of embarking on an anti-French campaign allegedly steered by Moscow.
French troops at Bangui's airport's M'Poko base have been providing logistical support for the European Union Training Mission and a contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission in MINUSCA. MINUSCA is one of the largest and most costly United Nations missions, which carried on with its operations with a record number of 14,400 soldiers and 2,420 officers, according to a 2021 resolution.
France also withdrew its troops from Mali earlier this year, which reflects an expression of growing disapproval of France in Africa.
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