Russian Counter-Offensive Thwarts American Strategy in the Central African Republic

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As the United States witnesses deteriorating relations with Niger, its strategy in the Central African Republic appears to falter as well, where it hoped to sway authorities away from their alliance with paramilitaries affiliated with the Wagner Group.

In recent weeks, Russia has executed a multifaceted counter-offensive. Following President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s visit to Moscow in mid-February, a flurry of Central African officials’ trips to Russia ensued, coinciding with numerous attacks targeting the United States.

Among the foreign delegations invited to “observe” Vladimir Putin’s landslide reelection were three members of the Central African National Assembly, including its president, Simplice Mathieu Sarandji, and the head of the National Electoral Authority, Mathias Morouba.

Before this, the Prime Minister had visited Moscow. In an interview with the state-owned media outlet, Sputnik, Felix Moloua praised the “extraordinary work” of the “Russian instructors” and discussed “advanced discussions” regarding new contracts in the military domain. However, he asserted that “no commitment” had been made with the American group Bancroft, whose arrival had been confirmed by the Central African presidency in December.

Subsequently, a dozen American citizens were prevented from entering the CAR, and drone flight bans were reinforced. According to Africa Intelligence, Bancroft’s representative in Bangui and his contact at the presidency were arrested by Wagner’s men in early January.

Furthermore, Russian-funded media outlets and accounts continue to exert pressure by proliferating anti-American informational campaigns in the Central African Republic. Concurrently, on Friday, March 15th, a grand ceremony was held in Bangui around President Touadéra to mark the reception of the first shipment of Russian wheat, processed into flour in Cameroon.


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