Central African Republic: UN Experts Document Abuses in the Southeast

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In their latest report published on June 14th, 2024, United Nations experts monitoring the situation in the Central African Republic have highlighted the impact of the war in Sudan on the country. This includes the recruitment of militiamen among armed groups and the use of the border as a hub for various activities.

The report extensively discusses the situation in the southeast of the Central African Republic, focusing on the interactions between the local Zande militia, now auxiliaries to the authorities, the Wagner Group, the UPC rebels, and South Sudan.

The report notes an agreement in November 2023 between the Central African Republic and South Sudan to implement joint patrols along the border.

However, instead of coordinating with Central African civil and military officials, South Sudan collaborates with community leaders and the Azandé Ani Kpi Gbé militia. The patron of this collaboration, as noted by the experts, is General James Nando, a prominent South Sudanese commander under US and UK sanctions for mass rapes committed by his men in 2021.

This collaboration had already enabled the Zande militia to retake Bambouti in April 2023. This border town had previously allowed the rebels of the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) to engage in trade with certain South Sudanese soldiers: cattle in exchange for grains and weapons.

Since then, clashes between the two groups have been frequent in Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou. The experts document numerous abuses, including the targeting of civilians, particularly based on ethnic and religious grounds, and forced recruitment, including child soldiers.

Additionally, the Zande militia has been conducting information campaigns against the peacekeepers of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), propagated through the networks of the Wagner paramilitary group. In recent months, Russian mercenaries have taken over the training of the Zande militia.


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