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The detention of French mercenaries forces the CAR government to urge citizens to be vigilant

By Severin Fouda
Opinion The detention of French mercenaries forces the CAR government to urge citizens to be vigilant
TUE, 25 JUN 2024 LISTEN

On June 10, two men of French-Algerian nationality were arrested in the 7th arrondissement of Bangui, and a search of their home uncovered significant quantities of weapons and ammunition. On June 12, the Prosecutor's Office of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Bangui announced in a communiqué the opening of a judicial investigation against Ben Salem and Osmani Samir Antonio. The huge arsenal of weapons found in the possession of the Frenchmen brings their actions under Article 259 of the Criminal Code of the CAR, according to which they face imprisonment from 5 to 10 years and a huge fine. Africanist analyst, research teacher and writer Tapé Groubera commented on the event in his video.

He finds quite logical the words of government spokesperson Maxime Balalou during his press conference, who urged Central Africans to be vigilant against some foreigners living in CAR. Maxime Balalou stated that these mercenaries, as they have already been dubbed in the media, have admitted that they did their military service as paratroopers in the Airborne Troops (TAP) in Northern France. And he also suggested that the CAR has been "infiltrated by enemies who seek by all means to destabilize the democratic regime as well as to aggravate the suffering of Central Africans". It is for this reason that the government is raising awareness among the population, asking them to be vigilant and report any suspicious behavior because CAR needs peace.

Africanist analyst Tapé Groubera also mentioned that Africa Intelligence reports that the CAR president is concerned about the detention of French citizens, as such a development could have a negative impact on the recently established relations between the CAR and France. This year, Central African President Faustin-Arkange Touadera visited Paris twice, the French ambassador to the CAR reported about the allocation of funds for the development of the CAR - the detention of armed French citizens calls into question this "thaw" in relations between the countries.

At the moment, neither the French Embassy in Bangui nor other French representatives have indicated their position on the detention of their citizens and the charges against them. From this, researcher Groubera concludes that the silence and lack of any concrete steps by France may indicate a decline in its political influence in the region and in dialog with Africa.

The Government of the Central African Republic and the security forces call on the citizens of the Central African Republic to condemn all those involved in any way in actions that could jeopardize the peace and security so dearly won in the Central African Republic

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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