Central African Republic (CAR) President Faustin Archange Touadera presided beginning of this week presided over a ceremony to mark the completion of training of the fourth group of Central African Armed Forces by Russian instructors.
CAR military reports indicate that Russia has trained a total of 1,054 army soldiers who are scheduled to be deployed jointly with the United Nations mission MINUSCA.
Russian advisors work with the CAR’s military and provide security and advice to Touadera.
The Russian instructors teach CAR soldiers how to use Russian weapons under this training provided by the European Union Training Mission in Central African Republic.
The president noted that he is optimistic that the arms embargo on CAR will be lifted citing EUTM training.
The president also lauded Russia and their trainers saying their transfer of skills to their army will go along way with the forces contributing to MINUSCA besides fulfilling the mandate of protecting the population and restoring peace in the country.
Also present during the ceremony is Russian Ambassador in CAR, Lebanov who said new arms shipment being prepared to help the CAR reform its defense and internal security forces upon approval by the U.N. Security Council.
He noted that the recent signing of a defense agreement between Russia and CAR offered the possibility for Central African officers and NCOs to be trained in Russian military schools. Lebanov also added that the two country would explore other areas of common interests besides defense cooperation. He emphasized that two states should also strengthen economic, humanitarian and political dialogue.
A U.N. arms embargo imposed in 2013 was last year lifted by the Security Council to allow delivery of Russian weapons for CAR’s armed forces. The U.N. Security Council in January unanimously extended its sanctions against CAR until January 31, 2019.
France, Belgium, China and the United States have also recently supplied equipment for CAR’s military.