Central African RepublicRussia is back in the Central African Republic(CAR).
In a military training base located on former palace grounds southwest of the capital Bangui, hundreds of Russian fighters, described as army reservists, are training Central African government soldiers in preparation for deployment along the country’s border.
The CAR government hopes to regain control of the country, which is torn by sectarian violence and the operations of 14 rebel groups. CAR, formerly colonised by France, is rich in strategically important minerals, diamonds, and gold.
Russia has sought influence in CAR before when the Soviet Union developed ties during the reign of former President Jean-Bedel Bokassa before he was overthrown in 1979.
In 2017, CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly meeting, asking for help. It was a meeting that stunned many on the Security Council, especially France, who had advised the the presidents of CAR for years.
Credit to : Al Jazeera English