This week the European Union imposed sanctions on the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organisation accused of committing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic and elsewhere.
The EU has said that it will no longer train CAR government soldiers because of their links to Wagner. In Africa, its fighters are also involved in Libya, Sudan and Mozambique and look likely to play a role in Mali.
Why is the Wagner Group in CAR?
The mercenaries are there to support President Faustin-Archange Touadéra in the fight against rebels, who still control many parts of the country despite recent government advances.
The country has been embroiled in civil unrest since President François Bozizé was overthrown in 2013. Mr Touadéra, in power since a 2016 election, had struggled to defeat rebel forces despite the presence of French troops and a UN force. The CAR government believes the Russian mercenaries have had more success.
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