The Federal News Agency (the FNA) contacted the military expert Viktor Ognev and asked him to explain what is happening in the Central African Republic (the CAR) from his point of view. First of all, the FNA journalists were interested in rumors about a "Russian trace" in the CAR and provocations on the eve of the upcoming elections.
Ognev noted that talks about Russian participation in the CAR fate are appropriate, but in this case, they are irrelevant, since there are no serious clashes there now. No tanks, no weapons, no offensives – nothing. There are no battles there at the moment, and the rumors about the Wagner Group are simply ridiculous.
Currently, only instructors from the Russian Federation are present in the republic, but they do not work with weapons. This is what the locals say. We should also remember that the CAR turned to Russia for help. The latest request is being considered.
Ognev also recalled the events that took place several years earlier, when Russia had just entered the CAR and its instructors appeared there. It was then that the shooting stopped in the country. Neither the French nor the UN representatives, who spent so much time in the republic, achieved a ceasefire, and so quickly. So talk about shooting and any kind of participation of Russian instructors in hostilities is easily refuted by the two-year lull in the CAR.
As for the prohibition for the former president of the Central African Republic, Fransois Bozize, to participate in elections, which some are trying to describe as unfair – according to Ognev, here we need to understand the specifics of the Central African state. It is the poorest and most dangerous country in existence, and the very fact that it is running at least partially democratic elections can already be considered a success. Moreover, Bozize himself was rightfully overthrown back in 2014, even despite the help of the French.
His pursuit of power is expressed, of course, extremely clearly, the expert believes. Bozize gathered supporters and went to plunder the capital. He explained his behavior by the disrupted elections. However, this is not an explanation or behavior of opposition, but real banditry. He was joined by immigrants from Chad and members of Islamist groups ready to go a long way for their own benefit.
These people are called opposition only at the suggestion of the French media. This way, Paris is trying to legalize its candidate, Ognev is sure.
Everything is still ahead, so we have yet to see what will happen to the current leader of the CAR, Touadera, who has already been supported by Abdoulaye Hissène, one of the leaders of the groups, whose signature is on the Khartoum agreements. Whether the rest of the signatories are going to support the president is the question.
The Federal News Agency is assembling a team for a trip to the Central African Republic. If representatives of other media want to see with their own eyes what is happening in the country on the eve of the elections (December 27), then they can join the FNA team.