The CAR’s government earlier confirmed its decision to strengthen Moscow’s military presence in the country to train its troops FILE PHOTO: Motorcycle taxi operators ride next to military vehicles that escorts the convoy of Russian armoured personnel carriers (APC) delivered to the Central African Republic army in Bangui, Central African Republic. © Camille Laffont / AFP

Plans are underway for the construction of a Russian military base in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has endured decades of violence and instability, Aleksandr Bikantov, Moscow’s ambassador to the country, has said.

The defense ministries of Moscow and Bangui have begun discussing a location for the army facility, Bikantov told TASS news agency in an interview published on Tuesday, without specifying when this will be completed.

The diplomat stated in January that around 1,890 Russian instructors, including military specialists of various profiles, were in the CAR to train the national police and soldiers, with the authorities requesting that the number be increased.

Fidele Gouandjika, a senior adviser to CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera, confirmed the government’s decision to strengthen Russia’s military presence in the African country to train its troops. He told African Initiative news agency earlier this year that the government has provided a plot of land in Berengo, 80 kilometers west of the country’s capital, Bangui, for the construction of the camp. Gouandjika has repeatedly hailed defense cooperation with Russia, claiming last July that as a result of Moscow’s assistance, the country was no longer afraid of coups, despite NATO and the West’s efforts to destabilize Africa.

The CAR has experienced decades of militant violence and political insecurity, including six coups, since gaining independence from France in 1960. The UN Security Council (UNSC) established a peacekeeping force in 2014, and there are currently more than 13,000 troops deployed in the country to protect civilians from militant violence. Rebel attacks against the government, however, continue.

Moscow urges more security support for Africa Moscow urges more security support for Africa

In 2018, the landlocked state and Russia signed a military agreement that paved the way for Moscow to train Bangui’s armed forces. Moscow has previously supplied light arms to the African country’s security forces.

While requesting increased support for regional efforts to combat terrorism and improve security in troubled African nations last December, Russia’s deputy permanent representative at the UNSC, Anna Evstigneeva, reiterated Moscow’s commitment to continuing defense cooperation with the CAR in the fight against rebel uprisings. (RT)