Russia withdrawing 300 military instructors from CAR

UNITED NATIONS/CAR (AP) – Russia has informed the United Nations (UN) that it is sending home 300 military instructors it sent to the Central African Republic (CAR) to help train its army, which was facing an offensive by rebel groups ahead of last month’s elections.

A letter from Russia’s UN Mission to the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against the conflict-wracked country said its assistance in the run-up and during the election was ending.

“The departure of four helicopters and additional instructors, which have been sent to the CAR to support FACA (the country’s armed forces) and national security forces, is planned starting from January 10, 2021,” the letter said.

The mineral-rich nation saw a spike of violence in the run-up to presidential and legislative elections set for December 27 and Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the instructors were sent at the request of the Central African Republic’s government.