Several dozen civilians were reportedly killed during a joint military operation by the Central African armed forces, the Faca, and their Russian allies. Operation earlier this week against CPC rebels near the town of Bria, 600 km east of the Central African capital Bangui. The subject is sensitive because of the presence, alongside the Faca, of Russian elements – presented by Bangui as instructors – but who, according to local sources, would be mercenaries from the Russian group Wagner, regularly accused of abuses by the population. .
According to corroborating sources, the joint operation took place last Sunday and Monday in Aigbando, a mining area located 75 km north of Bria. The Central African armed forces – the Faca – supported by Russian elements launched an offensive on an armed group of the rebel coalition CPC which occupies the area.
According to local sources, more than thirty civilians were killed. Some during heavy weapon fire during the operation; others would have been taken to the bush and then executed, adds a source, who speaks of a ” massacre “. There would be women and at least two children among the victims. ” We are very worried “, adds this source.
In Bria, an official source confirms that there was indeed an operation against the rebels which ” extort and commit abuses against the population working in the mines “. But this source adds that it is not aware of any civilian casualties. In any case, the joint operation caused a major population displacement, said a security source.
« I didn’t know about this attack “, declared for his part to AFP the spokesman of the Central African presidency.
The United Nations mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca) has undertaken to interview survivors in order to clarify the reality of the facts, said the UN sources. When questioned, the UN communication service has so far declined to comment.