Police in the Central African Republic have detained four French soldiers responsible for close protection of a senior official in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic.
The arrest of the four French soldiers who are with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country (MINUSCA) provoked false rumours that France had attempted to assassinate the C.A.R.’s president. The French military personnel were arrested Monday at the airport in Bangui.
The four men were in the security escort of French general Stephane Marchenior, the U.N. peacekeeping mission chief of staff.
Marchenior was at the airport for a time Monday before C.A.R. President Faustin Archange Touadera was due to return from a trip to Belgium.
After Marchenior departed, the four soldiers were arrested. President Touadera’s plane arrived thirty minutes after their arrest.
C.A.R. authorities are yet to state its position while the soldiers remained in custody Tuesday. Police have not given a reason for their arrest.
However, pictures of the French soldiers, their U.N. identifications and their military equipment have flooded social media accounts across Africa, along with a message accusing France of attempting to assassinate Touadera.
A Central African website known for its ties with Russian interests in Bangui was among the sites posting the allegations.
The French Embassy in Bangui and the U.N. mission in the C.A.R. condemned what they called a “misinformation campaign.”
The U.N. statement said: “MINUSCA regrets this incident and condemns its instrumentalisation on social media in an attempt to manipulate public opinion. It firmly rejects the accusations of attack against state security.”
Copyright: News Central TV
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.