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CAR government denies Wagner is leaving the country

Soldiers pose for a photo standing in front of their military vehicles after the Lithuanian-German military exercise 'Griffin Storm 2023', June 26, 2023   -  
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Mindaugas Kulbis/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Central African Republic

Unconfirmed reports cited by French news agency, AFP, suggest that Russian paramilitary group, Wagner, have been leaving the Central African Republic in recent days.

The agency cites several foreign sources. 

The reports however are denied by Fidèle Gouandjika, a special minister and adviser to President Touadéra.

Contacted by AFP on Friday, Gouandjika denied the allegations and  accused the media of spreading false information.

The status of the private paramilitary company and its leader Evguéni Prigojine is more uncertain than ever since its aborted mutiny in Russia on 23 and 24 June. 

The operation took the mercenaries as far as a few hundred kilometres from Moscow before they gave up, under the terms of an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the details of which are unknown.

According to a French security source cited by AFP, the move in the Central African Republic is justified by "major uncertainties over the payment of salaries in the coming months and concerns about possible reprisals against the families of mercenaries who remain with Wagner".

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