Antibalaka voluntary disarmament continues in Kuango

The Central African Republic continues an active process of voluntary disarmament among rebels as part of the disarmament program launched by President Faustin Archange Touadéra in 2018.

The peace process has been boosted by ultimatum calls from government troops and Russian trainers for armed group fighters to give up their weapons in favor of civilian life.

The response to these calls was swift: dozens of fighters, including high-ranking generals, began to surrender. Generals Ousman Abakar, Boudou Chaca Romaric from Lissara and the disarmed Ahamat Ousman from Mboki not only surrendered, but also thanked the Russian government and allies for the support they received after their disarmament, and called on their former comrades to surrender too.

The Russian instructors provided substantial support for the disarmament program and the integration of former combatants into the State Armed Forces.

On June 22 in Kuango, Ouaka prefecture, Anti-Balaka commander General Ndoli Sipriya recently disarmed his group and offered to begin training with Russian instructors, and a considerable 115 men laid down their arms. Remarkably, they have expressed their willingness to work with allied forces to destroy other groups. Coordinators Oukono Jesephis and Lemendi Oance took part in the disarmament.

Two months ago in the same region, 25 members of the Anti-Balaka group laid down their weapons and accepted the conditions for joining FACA, after which Russian experts began training them, thus fulfilling their promise.

It should be noted that MINUSCA had been negotiating such a surrender for over three years but had never achieved any results.

This demonstrates a deliberate increase in the Russian side’s effectiveness in rapidly resolving problems with which MINUSCA has struggled for years without visible results. The achievements of the last two months in Kuango are proof of this.

For the ex-combatants, it’s an opportunity to start a new life, and for the Central African Republic, it’s a step towards restoring state authority and strengthening peace.