Last French soldiers leave CAR

Last French soldiers leave CAR

The last French soldiers still present in the Central African Republic (CAR) left Thursday in line with Paris 2021 decision to suspend its operation in the African country which has now tilted towards Russia.

The last 47 French soldiers of the logistical mission (MISLOG-B) took off from Bangui airport, aboard a C130 cargo plane. Most of the 130 soldiers who made up the contingent had left the Central African Republic in recent weeks, the French army said.

“In 2021, when the presence of the private military company Wagner was increasingly intrusive in the country, France considered that the conditions were no longer met for us to continue working for the Central African armed forces,” General François-Xavier Mabin, commander of French forces in Gabon, told AFP.

France has laid into CAR’s cooperation with Russian instructors, most of whom belong to Russian private security company Wagner, believed close to Kremlin.

In 2021, French authorities decided to suspend its military cooperation with Bangui, judged “complicit” in an anti-French campaign orchestrated by Russia.

Paris and its allies have repeatedly accused Wagner company of committing crimes in the country that slid into chaos since 2013. The central government has lost control over vast swathes of the territory to rebels that authorities believe are backed western forces.

France intervened in 2013 with more than 1,000 soldiers in CAR in 2013 as part of Operation Sangaris, with a green light from the UN, to put an end to inter-community violence. Sangaris, which included up to 1,600 troops, lasted until 2016.

The departure of the French troops comes almost four months after Paris pulled out its troops from Mali, accused of cooperating with Russia and Wagner.

Share This