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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Question: How does the Russian Foreign Ministry assess the development of the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR)?

Answer: We are closely following the development of the situation in the CAR. As you know, the government forces, with the support of the Multidisciplinary Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MONUSCA) and Bangui’s bilateral partners, managed to repel the rebel forces, depriving them of their offensive ability to continue the armed struggle. The situation as a whole was stabilized. A clean-up of the liberated territories from scattered groups of militants is being carried out, they are pushed into the border regions of the country. Over the past month, more than 30 settlements of the country have been liberated from illegal armed groups.

Question: What is the total number of military instructors sent by Russia to assist the authorities in Bangui?

Answer: In response to the request of the Central African leadership and with the knowledge of the 2127 UN Security Council Committee, 5 military and 170 Russian civilian instructors were sent to the country in 2018 to train CAR military personnel. Subsequently, the number of military specialists increased to 235 people.

In connection with the sharp aggravation of the situation in the CAR, on the eve of the general elections held in December 2020, Russia, at the request of the Central African authorities, sent an additional 300 instructors to the country to train national army personnel involved in ensuring security on the eve and during the voting. Taking into account the wishes of the Central African leadership, as well as taking into account the ongoing clashes between the regular troops of the CAR with the militants, Russian specialists from this group remain in the country and continue their work. We proceed from the fact that without effective support to the CAR authorities in increasing the combat capability of the national armed forces, overcoming the internal crisis may drag on.

Question: Does the Russian Foreign Ministry have data on the total number of Russians in the CAR at the moment?

Answer: The Russian Foreign Ministry does not have information on the total number of Russian citizens currently in the CAR. In the domestic consular practice, there is no rule on compulsory consular registration for Russian citizens temporarily visiting the CAR for business or tourism purposes. In addition to Russian instructors engaged in the training of Central African military personnel, employees of UTair JSC and Abakan Air LLC work in the country, serving aviation equipment as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in the CAR, Russians are represented in the Mission itself.

Question: How could the Russian Foreign Ministry comment on the statement of the UN expert group of March 31, who expressed concern about the activity of Russian instructors in the CAR?

Answer: This category of specialists is in this country legally. The legal basis for their stay is the contracts they conclude with the CAR Ministry of Defense. Military instructors are sent to the country in strict accordance with the requirements of the UN Security Council sanctions regime. Russian assistance is carried out in line with the general efforts of the international community to strengthen the national security structures of the CAR in order to increase their competence in maintaining security and law and order throughout the state, which should contribute to the normalization of the situation and a lasting settlement of the protracted armed conflict.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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