On Sunday, around 5 a.m. local time, an attack took place on a mining site in the Bambari region of the Central African Republic. During this assault, nine Chinese were killed. As the mayor of Bambari, Abel Matchipata, told AFP, the victims are Chinese nationals working at a mining site of the "Gold Coast Group" company, located 25 km from the locality and which was attacked by "armed men".

China confirmed the death toll on Monday, citing "two seriously injured", but without giving further details on the circumstances of this attack, which has not been the subject of any claim so far.

Xi Jinping "called for making all necessary efforts to treat the wounded" as well as "severely punishing the murderers in accordance with the law," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"With the exception of the capital Bangui, the level of security risk in other regions of the Central African Republic is red, that is to say extremely high," said the ministry, calling on Chinese citizens "to evacuate as soon as possible" dangerous areas in this country plagued by civil war.

The suspected Russian Wagner Group

The Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), an alliance of rebel groups created in December 2020 to overthrow President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, denied in a statement Sunday any involvement in the attack. She denounced a "despicable and barbaric" act, accused the "Russian mercenaries (of the paramilitary organization) Wagner" of being at the origin.

The Central African Republic, the second least developed country in the world according to the UN, has been the scene since 2013 of a civil war, very deadly in its early years but which has decreased in intensity since 2018. At the end of 2020, the most powerful of the many armed groups that then shared two-thirds of the territory had launched, shortly before the elections, an offensive on Bangui and Faustin-Archange Touadéra had called on Moscow to the rescue of his destitute army.

Hundreds of Russian paramilitaries joined the few hundred already present since 2018. It had made it possible, in a few months, to repel the offensive of the rebels, then to drive them back from a large part of the territories and cities they controlled, but without being able to reinstall everywhere and durably the presence and authority of the Central African State.

  • China
  • World
  • Central African Republic
  • UN
  • Xi Jinping
  • Wagner Group