One of the private military companies, a network of mercenaries, or a de facto private army, has been accused of raping others, especially those who had just given birth at a maternity ward in the Central African Republic (CAR).
According to official sources, many unnamed officials stationed at CAR’s military headquarters and three Russian Wagner mercenaries “destroyed the maternity ward and started assaulting women on April 10.
The ward was situated at the Henri Izamo military camp in Bangui.
The three mercenaries allegedly entered the ward with pistols as well as whisky in their hands, said bystanders.
The men came into the ward and started touching inappropriately two women who had just given birth and signalled for sex. When a nurse interfered and asked them to stop, they took turns raping her as well.
However, this is not the first incident of rape and harassment by Wagner Group mercenaries in CAR. Last year, in October, UN experts issued a report showing concern that civilians, including peacekeepers, journalists, aid workers, and minorities, were violently harassed or threatened by Wagner mercenaries.
Experts stated the CAR government to withdraw all relations with the group. Further, they also said women, men, and young girls experienced sexual violence in many parts of the country, but it is still unclear how many since many are afraid to report their assaults.
It is challenging to prosecute mercenaries for assault or misconduct as per the official.
Last week, Human Right Watch also released a report that Russian Wagner mercenaries summarily executed, tortured, and beaten civilians in 2019 and called for CAR’s Special Criminal Court or the International Criminal Court in order to investigate.