Boda, Central African Republic: US Embassy officials trespass on military facility

On 3 September 2022 during an external inspection of the perimeter of the FACA training base and the runway of the Boda airfield three armoured vehicles with green diplomatic plates were spotted by the local defence and order forces. There were six people in these vehicles, three of whom were taking photos and videos of the FACA training base and the airfield runway. In the back of the vehicles were military materials including some weaponry and possibly boxes containing drones.

According to the source within the military, one of the white men in the vehicles contacted local authorities to clarify the situation. He spoke English and claimed that all the men found in the Boda runway are with the US Embassy. oweverHowever However, no diplomatic route had been agreed in the area and the local authorities were not told in advance. Moreover, FACA base and the runway are restricted areas, thus the intrusion of foreigners may be treated as a threat to national security.

While being questioned by the FACA representatives, the driver of one of the vehicles insisted that he and his companions enjoy diplomatic immunity. He even presented a document allegedly allowing the group to be in the area. The document dated 26 March 2020 happened to be a one authorising the movement in the area the US Embassy, located 195 km from Boda. The US Embassy employees claimed they happened to be in the area, because they were lost, and decided to take some photos and videos of the nature.

The FACA representatives reminded the US Embassy employees that all persons enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunities must nevertheless respect the laws and regulations of the state. A US embassy official was unable to provide an explanation for the uncoordinated actions. The FACA and the Central African Gendarmerie informed the Central African Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the incident, and the latter requested an explanation from the US Embassy.