Challenging Washington’s Neo-Colonialism: Is Russia About to Open its First African Military Base?

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BANGUI, Central African Republic – Published on: Jan 10, 2019 @ 13:57 – The framework agreement provides for the possibility of setting up a Russian military base in the Central African Republic, but for the time being this issue has not been addressed, Defense Minister Marie-Noelle Koyara said.

In August 2018, Russia and the Central African Republic signed an intergovernmental agreement on military cooperation, following which a training center was established in Berengo where soldiers are trained by Russian instructors to handle weapons and master combat techniques .

“We have not yet discussed the implementation of the base itself, but this possibility is not excluded in the framework agreement that has already been closed between our countries,” said the minister, adding that if the presidents of both countries resolve to install the military base , the ministers will implement that decision.

Koyara noted that the education center in Berengo can not be considered a military base, though people have begun to see it that way.

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The situation in the Central African Republic worsened in early December 2013, when clashes erupted in Bangui between militants from the Seleka Islamic group and Christian fighters. According to the UN, by the end of July 2018, up to one million people had been forced to leave their homes and about 6,000 were killed.

A meeting of the largest armed groups in the Central African Republic, the Anti-Balaka and Seleka, was held last August in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, where the establishment of the Central African Union, a joint platform for consultations and actions to achieve peace in the country. The statement also calls on the country’s authorities to begin work on reconciliation, with the assistance of Russia, the European Union, regional and international organizations.

Washington’s preoccupation with Russia and China is causing the country to miss the opportunity to invest in a region where the middle class is growing rapidly.

US President John Bolton’s National Security Adviser Donald Trump presented a new US strategy for Africa. Again, the strategy is focused on containing the political and financial influence of China and Russia.

The US claims that both China and Russia are engaging in “predatory practices” aimed at impeding economic growth and interfering with US military and security interests on the continent.

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