C.A.R. mulls arms, weapons purchase from Russia to boost security

Russia and the Central African Republic have done weapons business in the past, including in 2018 and 2019. /Getty Images

The Central African Republic (C.A.R.) is considering obtaining Russian weapons and military equipment to boost its fight against armed militants, state-run TASS reports Russian Ambassador to the Central African Republic Vladimir Titorenko.

Titorenko however said any request for the purchase of Russian weapons would be analyzed by the government once received.

“As soon as an official request from the CAR’s authorities to Russia for the supply of a new batch of weapons is received, it will be analyzed by Russia’s relevant authorities,” the envoy said. “It is up to them to decide. As for the Central African Republic, its leaders have repeatedly expressed their desire to receive certain types of weapons and military equipment, in addition to small arms up to 14.5 mm in caliber. Otherwise, armed gangs will be more powerful than the government army, and this defies any logic, in particular, the national reconciliation agreement of February 6, 2019.”

“Otherwise, how will the central authorities regain control of the entire territory of the country?” the diplomat observed.

The two countries have done similar business in the past.

In early 2018, Russia delivered weapons to the C.A.R. Russia at the time also sent five military and 170 civilian instructors to the African country to train local military personnel. In September 2019, Russia handed over the second batch of weapons to the C.A.R. on a non-repayable basis.