Russia is ready to discuss the issue of sending new military advisers to the Central African Republic, if an appropriate appeal is received from the country’s authorities.
This was announced to reporters by the special envoy of the Russian president for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on January 25th.
“This [the question of the need for military advisers from the Russian Federation] should be assessed by the democratically elected leadership of the CAR,” he said. “If someone asks us, representing a sovereign country, being a legitimate leader, then such appeals are always considered in the most attentive way.”
According to Bogdanov, the Central African Republic remains in a very difficult situation.
The elections held in the country should have a positive effect on the socio-political situation and the solution of socio-economic problems, the high-ranking diplomat emphasized.
On January 22nd, an emergency regime was declared in the CAR for 15 days.
There are Russian military instructors in the republic. In March 2018, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that, at the request of the CAR president, the Russian side was sending Bangui free military-technical assistance, in particular, small arms and ammunition, and five military and 170 Russian civilian instructors were sent to the country to train the local military.
In the summer of 2019, there were negotiations that another group of Russian military personnel could be sent to the UN mission in the CAR.
On December 22nd, 2020, the Foreign Ministry notified the UN Security Council that Russia had sent an additional 300 military instructors to the Central African Republic. On December 27, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said that in November 2020, Russia supplied BRDM-2 armored reconnaissance vehicles to the CAR.
On January 15th, there were reports that the Russian instructors would be withdrawn, but that turned out to be false or overturned.
On January 21st, the press service of the Foreign Ministry announced that the Russian military instructors sent to the CAR in December will remain in the country for now.
According to UN sources, the coordination on the ground between UN peacekeepers, the Russian “military instructors” and the 300 Rwandan soldiers also sent as reinforcements in December on a bilateral basis, turned out to be “pretty good.”
One of the sources said the coordination was an attempt to avoid “friendly fire” between the different forces, “to know who was where and who was doing what,” adding that “the Rwandans and the Russians have helped a lot.”
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