Central African Republic: after his long disappearance, Ali Darassa reappears at the Chadian border

Last week, it was reported that Ali Darassa, the UPC rebel leader, had traveled to northern Central African Republic. This information has now been confirmed by local sources in the border region with Chad. Ali Darassa was spotted on the border between the Central African Republic and Chad.

Ali Darassa founded and still leads the former Central African-based rebel group, Unite for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), which since its creation in 2014 has killed, tortured, raped and displaced civilians, committed widespread range of human rights abuses (international human rights law), and engaged in arms trafficking, illegal tax activities and hostilities against the Defense and Security Forces of the Central African Republic and other militias.

On December 21, 2021, Ali Darassa was placed on the US sanctions list for numerous serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. And in the Central African Republic, Darassa is one of the most wanted bandits. Because his armed group has been terrorizing the population for several years.

On November 10, 2014, UPC fighters attacked the villages of Bolo in Ouaka prefecture, killing 10 civilians, including three elderly women, who were burned to death in their homes. On December 12, 2017, UPC and FPRC militants bombed a hospital, killing 17 civilians, including four children. On November 15, 2018, UPC militants attacked a camp for displaced people in Alindao, killing between 70 and 100 civilians.

Under Darassa’s leadership, the UPC continues to oppose the restoration of state power. UPC activists threatened the electoral process on several occasions in 2016. On March 29, 2016, UPC activists shelled a polling station and injured several displaced people. In December 2020, she played a leading role in the formation of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), which took up arms to oppose the elections and attempted to enter the capital in violation of the commitments made by the UPC under the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation (APPR) signed on February 6, 2019.

In addition, due to threats from UPC activists led by Ali Darassa, the vote on December 27, 2020 could not take place in areas controlled by the UPC, such as several regions of the prefectures of Ouaka and Haut Mbomou. In January 2021, the UPC attempted to enter Bangui by force. However, the FACA and their allies managed to prevent a takeover in Bangui. His UPC movement was neutralized during the city recovery operations undertaken by the government and its Russian allies. Ali Darassa lost several of his lieutenants. Since then, this leader of the much feared armed group has been hiding between CAR and Chad between 2016 and 2021.

Currently, according to local sources, this rebel leader held two meetings last week on the border between the Central African Republic and Chad. Nothing is known of these meetings. Political analysts suggest that France wants to consolidate its position of power through an alliance with the Chadian government and the most influential rebel leader, Ali Darassa.