France Freezes Military Aid To CAR Over 'disinformation Campaign'
France has suspended its aid and military cooperation with the Central African Republic (CAR) whose government is judged to be "complicit" in an anti-French disinformation campaign backed by Russia, a source in the French defence ministry told AFP on Monday
Paris, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 7th Jun, 2021 ) :France has suspended its aid and military cooperation with the Central African Republic (CAR) whose government is judged to be "complicit" in an anti-French disinformation campaign backed by Russia, a source in the French defence ministry told AFP on Monday.
"On several occasions, the Central African authorities have made commitments they haven't respected, as much in the political area towards the opposition as with regards to their behaviour towards France, which is the target of a massive disinformation campaign," the source said, asking not to be named.
While the Russians were seen as responsible, "the Central Africans are at best complicit in this campaign," the source added.
Five French soldiers advising the car defence ministry returned to France in April and military training has been suspended, the source added, confirming details first reported by the Paris-based Mediapart website.
The suspension underlines the extent of the rivalry between France and Russia in CAR, a mostly poor former French colony, as well as the concern in Paris about online influence campaigns targeting its presence in Africa.
Last December, Facebook removed two networks of fake accounts based in Russia and one linked to the French military which it said were being used for interference campaigns in Africa, including in CAR.
The decision by France to suspend military cooperation also comes on the heels of a similar move in Mali where French military operations with the national army were suspended last week after a second coup in nine months.
France will also maintain around 100 soldiers in a European Union-led military training operation in CAR, the defence ministry source added.