Central African Republic’s New PM Appeals for French, EU Support After Paris Cancels Training Deal

Just days after taking office, the Central African Republic’s new Prime Minister, Henri-Marie Dondra, said he wants to rebuild the country’s relationship with France. Paris cancelled their defense deal last week after claiming Bangui had done nothing to combat Russian influence with the government, after which the former prime minister resigned.

“There are reforms that we must pursue with our French partners,” Dondra told reporters on Tuesday. “I am also thinking of the European Union … the international community and obviously our strategic partner France, and other partners will allow us to revive the economy.”

According to RFI, Dondra said the government also aimed to restore the confidence of donors and other financial backers, but made clear the government’s budget was lacking.

Dondra was appointed to head the CAR government on June 11 by President Faustin Archange Touadéra. The day prior, Firmin Ngrebada had resigned from the post after France announced it was scrapping a $12.8 million military training deal with Bangui and pulling roughly 160 troops facilitating the training out of the country.

According to the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, their training deal was canceled because Bangui has not, in their judgment, acted sufficiently to curb the “disinformation networks” it claims Russia has used to attack the French presence in the CAR. Moscow has made no comment on the allegations, which were initially brought by Facebook in December 2020,…

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