July 16 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Union of Officials for International Security, the subsidiary of the Russian mercenary group Wagner in the Central African Republic, announced this Sunday the arrival of hundreds of troops to the African country to, among other tasks, monitor the security of the constitutional referendum to be held in The end of this month.
“Another flight of instructors has arrived in Bangui (the country’s capital). Several hundred of PMC Wagner’s most experienced professionals have joined the team working in the Central African Republic,” the group has announced on its Telegram account.
“Russian instructors will continue to help military personnel of the Armed Forces and law enforcement officers of the Central African Republic to ensure security before the constitutional referendum scheduled for July 30, 2023,” the message added.
The country has been the scene of an increase in the arrival of Wagner troops for months, in line with the expansion of this force in Africa. In the case that concerns the Central African Republic, the new deployment is linked to the constitutional referendum announced in May by the president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, to modify the 2016 Constitution after months of controversy over the will of the current president to attend a third mandate.
The announcement came after the Central African opposition had denounced serious concerns over the possible holding of the referendum in the previous weeks, alleging that changes would be proposed to the text of the Constitution to establish a lifetime presidency chaired by Touadéra.
The current Constitution prohibits the head of state from running for a third term. Touadéra was elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020, after controversial elections marked by the offensive by the rebels of the Patriots for Change Coalition (CPC) and the rejection of the results by the opposition.
The United States and its allies have denounced the activities of the Wagner Group in the Central African Republic and in other countries on the continent where they operate, after echoing allegations of human rights abuses and violations, including indiscriminate attacks against civilians. Russia denies these accusations and assures that Wagner collaborates with the authorities to instruct the national armed forces in their fight against terrorism.