Mercenaries from the Russia-linked Wagner Group are reportedly accused of raping mothers in a maternity ward in the Central African Republic.

  • According to a report by the Daily Beast, Russian Wagner mercenaries raped women who had just given birth.

  • Three Wagner mercenaries are said to have stormed a maternity clinic in the Central African Republic.

  • Witnesses said they raped two women who had just given birth and a nurse.

Mercenaries from the Wagner Group have been accused of raping mothers who had just given birth in a maternity ward in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Daily Beast reported.

Several unnamed officials at the Central African military headquarters told the Daily Beast that on April 10, three Russian Wagner mercenaries “stormed the maternity ward and began sexually assaulting women during admission.”

The station was located in the Henri Izamo military camp in the capital Bangui.

The Wagner Group is owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The mercenaries have been active in several countries, including Syria, and are now also active in Ukraine.

The three mercenaries entered the hospital ward with pistols and whiskey in their hands, a witness told HumAngle, a news site specializing in West and Central Africa.

The men then began to “indecently touch” two women who had just given birth, signaling that they wanted to have sex. When a nurse intervened and told them to stop, they took turns raping her too.

This is not the first incident of rape and harassment by Wagner Group mercenaries in the Central African Republic. In October 2021, UN experts published a report expressing concern that civilians, including peacekeepers, journalists, aid workers and minorities, have been violently harassed or intimidated by Wagner mercenaries.

The experts called on the government of the Central African Republic to break off all relations with the group. In addition, women, men and young girls have been victims of sexual violence in many parts of the country, but it is unclear how many there are, as most are afraid to report the attacks.

One official told the Daily Beast that it is difficult to prosecute mercenaries for assault or misconduct.

“Disciplining a Russian instructor who committed a crime is not something the military can respond to with confidence,” a senior CAR military official told The Daily Beast privately. “Only the president can decide how to deal with the Russians.”

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch also released a report saying that Russian Wagner mercenaries have summarily executed, tortured, and beaten civilians since 2019, and called on either the Special Criminal Court of the Central African Republic or the International Criminal Court to investigate the incident.

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