MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Russia has sent an extra 300 military instructors to train the army of the Central African Republic at the request of the country’s leadership, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Tuesday.
"For the purpose of providing assistance to Bangui in strengthening the defenses of the Central African Republic Russia promptly responded to the request of its leadership to dispatch a group of 300 instructors to train personnel for the national armed forces. A corresponding notification was handed over to the UN Security Council’s 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee," the Foreign Ministry said.
Moscow keeps a close watch on the situation in the Central African Republic and expresses serious concern in connection with the sharp degradation of the security situation there.
"The movement of paramilitary groups across the country’s territory, well-coordinated and supported from outside, has acquired the traits of a massive attack aimed at destabilizing the internal situation and frustrating the election process," the Foreign Ministry stated.
Participating in efforts to repel the onslaught of illegal armed groups is the contingent of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), which is operating in coordination with the national army.
"A decision is about to be made to reinforce MINUSCA with peacekeepers from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Also, troops from Rwanda have been dispatched to the Central African Republic on the basis of bilateral agreements," the Foreign Ministry said.
Moscow has called upon all constructively-minded political forces in the Central African Republic for a dialogue and peace settlement of disputes concerning preparations for general elections.
"It is crucial to create conditions for peaceful, transparent and free voting," the Foreign Ministry said. "We believe it is important to use to the maximum extent the potential of the United Nations and MINUSCA, as well as the African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to provide all-round support for Bangi at this dramatic moment for the Central Africans."
Three rebel groups last week formed an anti-government Coalition of Patriots for Change to launch combat operations on December 18 with the aim of gaining control of the main roads to Bangui and sealing off the capital. The rebels are trying to offer resistance to President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who seeks re-election for a second term. At present, the rebels have been rolled back by government troops and militias supporting them.