The scramble for influence in Central African Republic has pitted France against Russia- both western powers that have historically flexed for control of resources in this African country.
According to details, France has formalised suspension of part of its aid to the Central African Republic.The gap is widening between Paris and Bangui, which has relied on a rapprochement with Russia.
It is now official that the French Ministry of the Armed Forces announced on June 9 that Paris would suspend its military aid and cooperation with the Central African Republic.
The French Armed Forces Ministry said Paris had cut Euros10 million in budget aid and stopped all direct military cooperation.
France is accusing Central African Republic of “disinformation campaigns targeting French representatives”.
The tough sanction comes against a backdrop of tensions between Bangui and Paris, which has been alarmed for months by the growing influence of Russia over the Central African government.
The decision was taken as Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada returned from a visit to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, on his return from which he was greeted at Bangui airport by Dmitriy Sytyi, a Russian national well known to Central Africans and linked to the private security company Wagner.
Officially, the Wagner company does not operate in the Central African Republic, where only Russian instructors cooperate with the Central African army.
However, according to many sources, this company linked to Evgeny Prigozhin, employs up to 3,000 men in Central African territory and is connected to several mining companies under local law.
Did Bangui definitely choose Moscow to the detriment of Paris? What is the government’s position on the presence of mercenaries on its soil?