Europe “suspends” its military training mission because of Wagner’s Russian mercenaries

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The European Union (EU) military training and training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) is “Suspended” : it was the French commander of this operation, Brigadier General Jacques de Montgros, who announced it on Monday, December 13, in a Central African weekly, The Tambourine. In Brussels, where the officer visited recently, it had not, on the other hand, been the subject of any official communication, even though this decision was taken by the Committee of Ambassadors of the Twenty-Seven (Coreper ).

The embarrassment is evident at Mission Headquarters, now faced with many questions about the effectiveness of certain operations. And especially the recent revelations relating to the fact that Central African troops trained by Europeans were now controlled by Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group. We recently mentioned a battalion but, according to General de Montgros, they are in reality, “Most of the FACA units”, the Central African armed forces, which are under the control of this private military company, against which the EU has rightly decided on Monday to take sanctions.

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Heading since September this mission started five years ago, the French general indicates that if the military training is suspended, the activity of ” strategic advice ” Minister of Defense and Military Schools continues. According to the specialized Brussels letter B2, some 70 trainers have, in any case, already left EUTM RCA and the entire operation could eventually be stopped. FACA training can resume “As soon as we have the assurance that the trained Central African soldiers will not be employed by Wagner’s mercenaries”, said General de Montgros in an interview given Wednesday to Agence France Presse.

Graduation ceremony

It was a recent report from the European External Action Service (EEAS), detailing Wagner’s growing influence in Bangui, that precipitated this mission “freeze”. And this, even if the activity in CAR of Russia and this paramilitary company close to the Russian power seemed known for a long time.

Already in 2018, recruits were trained by Russian “consultants” in the handling of weapons provided by Moscow. They had previously been trained by EUTM. At the time, a high-ranking Russian diplomat was photographed awarding diplomas to interns. What worry the European soldiers on the spot but, apparently, not the Brussels staff, which had temporized.

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