Russian mercenaries accused of crimes in CAR

Russian mercenaries are involved in the torture and murder of civilians in the Central African Republic. They are accused of using excessive force and shelling protected objects such as a mosque and camps for displaced persons.

This was reported by the TV channel CNN… The publication, together with the independent investigative group The Sentry, is investigating cases of human rights violations by Russian mercenaries in the CAR.

So, on February 15, 2021 in Bambari, which is located in Huaca Prefecture (CAR), Russian mercenaries attacked the surrounding area in combat helicopters, hunting the rebels. At the same time, they opened indiscriminate fire on civilians, many of whom hid in the Al-Taqwa mosque.

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A woman named Fatuma said she was at home with her children when the shooting began. To hide, they ran into the nearest mosque, believing that it would be a safe haven.

But instead, she and dozens of other people became targets for criminals who fired at the building. Both of her children were injured, but they survived, unlike other people shot by Russian mercenaries.

“They were Russians and FACA (armed forces of the Central African Republic). There was not a single insurgent in the mosque. They killed only the civilian population. They killed our children,” the woman said.

Bullet holes seen inside the Al-Taqwa Mosque in Bambari
Bullet holes in the outer wall of the mosque

Other eyewitnesses said that there may have been two insurgents hiding in the mosque, but they were not armed.

CNN and The Sentry spoke to numerous eyewitnesses to the events in Bambari that day. According to them, several civilians were shot in cold blood when Russian and local troops ordered people to leave the mosque late at night. Others said that on the same day they were fired upon by Russian helicopters.

The total number of those killed in and around the mosque that February day is unknown, but reports compiled by CNN are at least 20.

The body of a victim of shooting at the Al-Taqwa Mosque

The Bambari incident is one of dozens investigated by CNN and The Sentry in the Central African Republic. Despite the widespread atmosphere of fear, local residents spoke of killings, cases of rape and torture, and attacks on civilians, including the burning of houses. All this was done by Russian mercenaries.

CNN and The Sentry received confidential UN documents corroborating accusations against Russian mercenaries by witnesses and victims.

The document was received by Sentry and transmitted to CNN.

In a report on the Bambari incident, a UN task force said the Russian mercenaries were “accused of using excessive force and shelling protected objects such as a mosque and camps for displaced persons.”

The document also confirms that the Russians committed war crimes, such as the execution of civilians who did not take part in the hostilities.

The UNWG sent a list of allegations to the governments of Russia and the Central African Republic, as well as representatives of military contractors. In response, Russia denied the accusations and insisted that the mercenaries in the CAR “are not armed and are not taking part in hostilities.”

Recall earlier OBOZREVATEL reported that materials with dozens of living testimonies on the crimes of Russian mercenaries in the CAR unveiled by French journalists.

Also OBOZREVATEL informed that Macron called the CAR president “a hostage of the Wagner group.” According to the French president, “predatory Russian mercenaries” are taking over the country’s political system.

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