CAR and Russia in talks for setting up a military base
The Central African Republic (CAR) and Russia have been holding talks for Moscow to set up a military base in the frail African country weakened by civil war during many years.
The minister of Defense of the CAR, Rameaux-Claude Bireau told Russian news agency Sputnik that “the discussions are continuing.” The minister also indicated that authorities are poised to have a Russian military base due to security challenges that have been haunting the country. CAR has slid into civil war since 2012. Current President Faustin-Archange Touadéra is facing rebellion from armed groups loyal to former leader François Bozizé ousted in 2012.
“But because we have security problems that last, and the Russian military wanted them to be by our army’s side in order to help us with these security problems, and then think about the development of the country, these security problems are hindering development efforts, so we want to get it over with,” Bireau stated.
He however did not specify when the base would be established, but said that “at the appropriate time we could point it out”, Sputnik reports. Earlier, Leon Dodonou-Pounagaza, the country’s envoy to Moscow, indicated that CAR would like to have a Russian military base on its soil, and is eager to cooperate with Russia, especially against the backdrop of security threats. Russia since 2018 has become a strategic ally to CAR at the expense of ex-colonial power France. Moscow subsequently dispatched its first military trainers to the country.
There were 1,890 of them as of February 2023, according to Alexander Bikantov, Russian ambassador to Bangui, and the CAR aims to raise that number.