Three rebel groups in the Central African Republic (CAR), which formed an anti-government coalition, seized the administrative centre of Lobaye Prefecture, the city of Mbaïki.
According to Corbeau News, the rebels, who are trying to prevent the re-election of the country's president Faustin-Archange Touadéra for a second term, have overrun the CAR Armed Forces, supported by mercenaries from the Russian private military company the Wagner Group.
As a result, the rebels took under their control the region south and west of the CAR capital, which was considered the safest territory in the country.
According to AFP, Russia has deployed several hundred soldiers and heavy weapons to the republic as part of a bilateral cooperation agreement to contain the uprising.
CAR government spokesman said Rwanda had also sent several hundred fighters, they were already in positions and had entered the battle.
CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has long entrusted his security to bodyguards provided by Russian private military companies.
Approximately two thirds of the CAR is occupied by various rebel groups. On Friday evening, three of them announced their unification and launched an offensive against the government-controlled capital of CAR, Bangui. Vladimir Monteiro, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in CAR, said on Sunday that the rebel advance had been halted on several tracks. Le Figaro emphasizes that the EU, France, the United States, Russia and the World Bank in a joint communique called on the rebels and former CAR President François Bozizé to lay down their arms.
Russia is monitoring the situation in the Central African Republic, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “The information that comes from there is a cause for serious concern... As far as we know, there is no threat to the life of Russians, but we are also monitoring the incoming news very carefully," Peskov said.