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Around 50 killed in Central African Republic boat capsize

Around 50 killed in Central African Republic boat capsize

AROUND 50 people on their way to a village funeral died after their riverboat capsized in the Central African Republic's capital Bangui on Friday, an official said. "We were alerted 40 minutes after the incident and rescuers were able to extract around 50 lifeless bodies," civil protection department head Thomas Djimasse told Reuters. He added, in a telephone interview, that the search was continuing with more people possibly drowned in the Mpoko River. Government spokesperson Maxime Balalou gave a death toll of over 30 and called for better compliance with river transport safety regulations.
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US issues sanctions on Russian, Central African Republic entities over Wagner ties

US issues sanctions on Russian, Central African Republic entities over Wagner ties

THE United States imposed sanctions on two entities it accused of advancing Russia's "malign activities" in the Central African Republic (CAR) and enabling the Wagner mercenary group, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. The entities, a CAR-based timber company and a Russia-based company sought to benefit financially "from illicit natural resource extraction and provided material and financial support to the Wagner Group and other organizations" tied to Wagner's former owner Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who died in a 2023 plane explosion in Russia, the Treasury said. The action targets CAR-based Bois Rouge SARLU for its ties to Wagner and St. Petersburg-based Broker Expert…
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ICC prosecutor drops charges against Central Africa militia leader

ICC prosecutor drops charges against Central Africa militia leader

THE prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has withdrawn charges against a former militia leader from the Central African Republic (CAR) as there were no prospects of conviction, the prosecutor's office said. Prosecutors had earlier said that Maxime Mokom, a former national coordinator of so-called anti-balaka militias, played a key role in a plan to violently target the Muslim civilian population in 2013 and 2014. "Having considered the totality of the evidence in the Mokom case and in light of changed circumstances regarding the availability of witnesses, there are no longer any reasonable prospects of conviction at trial even…
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Attack on patrol kills one U.N. peacekeeper in Central African Republic

Attack on patrol kills one U.N. peacekeeper in Central African Republic

A United Nations peacekeeper from Rwanda was killed on Monday in an attack on their patrol in northeast Central African Republic (CAR), the U.N. said. The attack took place 3 km (1.86 miles) from the town of Sam-Ouandja. Three of the assailants were killed and one captured during the attack, it said in a statement. U.N. peacekeepers were deployed to CAR in 2014 to help curb violence that broke out a year earlier when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted then-president Francois Bozize, prompting reprisals from mostly Christian militias. No militia was directly blamed for the latest attack, which the peacekeeping…
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Central African Republic says Wagner troop movement is rotation not departure

Central African Republic says Wagner troop movement is rotation not departure

THE departure of hundreds of Russian Wagner troops from the Central African Republic is part of a rotation of forces rather than a withdrawal, a spokesperson for the CAR presidency said. The short-lived mutiny led by Wagner mercenary founder Yevgeny Prigozhin in Russia in June has raised questions about the outlook for his group's sprawling network of military and commercial operations across CAR and other parts of Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. Reports of the recent departure of large numbers of Wagner personnel from CAR by plane have fuelled speculation in recent days that the group is pulling out of the country, where…
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What does the Wagner Group do? Operations in Africa and the rest of the world explained

What does the Wagner Group do? Operations in Africa and the rest of the world explained

THE abortive mutiny by Russia's Wagner group last week calls into question the fate of the group's wide network of military and commercial operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This factbox shows what Wagner is doing and where. UKRAINE Wagner deployed in Ukraine soon after the invasion began early last year and by the summer it was enlisting thousands of prisoners to fight for it on the front lines. By December, as it took a central role in the battle for Bakhmut, U.S. intelligence estimated it had 40,000 prisoner recruits fighting in Ukraine, though Wagner itself has not commented on…
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Central African Republic plans referendum on scrapping presidential term limits

Central African Republic plans referendum on scrapping presidential term limits

CENTRAL African Republic's President Faustin-Archange Touadera said he would hold a referendum in July on his intention to change the constitution and remove term limits. Touadera's allies proposed the change in May last year, arguing that presidential term limits were uncommon in many neighbouring countries. Critics and opposition parties held protests last year as the reform would allow Touadera to run again in 2025 for a third term. The president installed a commission to draft the proposed changes in September. But the country's top court ruled the committee unconstitutional and annulled it. In an address to the nation on Tuesday, Touadera…
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Central African Republic’s top court head refuses to retire

Central African Republic’s top court head refuses to retire

JUDICAEL YONGO THE head of the Central African Republic's top court, which has stymied a push to enable President Faustin-Archange Touadera to keep running for office, has defied a government order to retire. The Constitutional Court last month annulled a commission for proposed reforms that would let Touadera, 65, stand for a third presidential poll in line with a trend in some parts of Africa that opponents see as a creeping autocracy. The already twice-elected Touadera's government earlier this month issued a decree telling 28 higher education officials born between 1946 and 1955 to retire on December 31. On that list was Constitutional Court…
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Central African Republic launches ‘Sango Coin’ cryptocurrency amid industry rout

Central African Republic launches ‘Sango Coin’ cryptocurrency amid industry rout

RACHEL SAVAGE THE Central African Republic will start selling a cryptocurrency it says will be worth $21 million next week, it said, amid a wider rout in the industry and scepticism over the project's feasibility in a poorly connected, war-torn country. The "Sango Coin", described as a "national digital currency" will go on sale on July 21 with a minimum investment of $500 to be paid in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and Ethereum, according to the country's Sango investment website. The Central African Republic, where access to the internet and electricity is low, became the first African state to make bitcoin…
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Central African Republic President: Crypto is key to financial inclusion

Central African Republic President: Crypto is key to financial inclusion

RACHEL SAVAGE CRYPTOCURRENCIES are the solution to tackling financial exclusion in the Central African Republic, its President Faustin-Archange Touadera said, citing the cost of opening bank accounts. "The alternative to cash is cryptocurrency," Touadera said at a launch event for crypto initiative Sango hosted by the country, after it became the first African state to make bitcoin legal tender in April. "For us, the formal economy is no longer an option." The move to adopt cryptocurrencies in a country where internet use is low and electricity unreliable has raised eyebrows among crypto experts, puzzled lawmakers and residents, and drawn words…
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