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Analysing the battle against armed groups

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Central African Republic. (Jacob Zocherman / AP)

Many African countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and others are experiencing a security crisis due to the activities of terrorist groups. According to John-Allan Namu, a journalist and specialist on Central and West Africa, despite all the efforts of the international community, it has not been possible to stabilize the situation in the region.

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Huge amounts of money are being spent on United Nations peacekeeping missions deployed in African countries that are particularly suffering from terrorism. However, neither the peacekeepers nor the law enforcement services are able to stop the rebels who are better armed and equipped. A journalist and specialist on Central Africa Oman Mbiko emphasizes that the international community must do much more to put an end to the violence in Central and West Africa, otherwise there is a high risk that the rebels will seize power and take control of natural resources.

The security situation is particularly deplorable in the Central African Republic, which has been torn apart by civil war since 2013 after the overthrow of President François Bozizé. The increase in violence occurred in recent months on the eve of the presidential elections of the Republic, in December 2020, when the armed group of the Patriots for Change Coalitions (CPC) launched an offensive on Bangui in order to seize power. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) proved powerless in the face of the impending danger, but the situation was saved by the soldiers of the national army and their Russian and Rwandan allies.

The main players in restoring security on the territory of the Central African Republic are MINUSCA, Russia and Rwanda. But the UN mission is often criticized for its inefficiency and high cost, and recently reports have even spread about the alleged cooperation of peacekeepers with the CPC rebels, as well as the fact that many innocent residents are dying due to their fault. Thus, blue helmets not only do not contribute to improving the security situation in the country, but rather aggravate it.

Apparently, the president of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, came to the same conclusion and asked Russia and Rwanda for military assistance.

Russia and Rwanda have extended a helping hand to the Central African Republic by providing Rwandan military and Russian instructors to help the soldiers of the national army. As a result, thanks to joint efforts, they managed to repel the rebel attack on Bangui in January 2021, as well as liberate many cities from them, returning territorial lands to state control and allowing Central Africans to freely carry out their activities.

However, despite the high efficiency and professionalism of the Russian and Rwandan allies, it has not yet been possible to achieve a complete victory over the rebels and this is due to the arms embargo imposed on the Central African Republic in 2013. Recently, the UN Security Council extended the embargo until July 31, 2022, which caused a violent outrage of the Central African public, because despite the fact that the soldiers of the national army are real professionals, they are worse armed than the rebels of CPC, who receive weapons illegally, and this in turn prevents a complete victory over the criminals.

Thus, for a significant preponderance of forces in the Central African Republic in particular and in Africa as a whole, it is necessary to reconsider the strategy of combating terrorists, starting from the choice of allied countries and ending with the final lifting of the embargo.

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Central Africa Republic
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