Authorities in the Central African Republic (CAR) have charged a French national with espionage and conspiracy, nearly a month after his arrest.
Authorities accused him of having aided and trained rebel fighters in the conflict-wracked country since 2013.
The CAR’s Attorney General Eric Didier Tambo said on Wednesday Quignolot had been charged with espionage, illegal possession of military and hunting weapons, criminal association, harming domestic state security and conspiracy.
There was no immediate comment by the French embassy in Bangui and France’s foreign ministry.
The announcement of charges came two days after France suspended aid and military support to the CAR because of what it said was a failure by the government to stop “massive disinformation campaigns” that have targeted its officials – a statement pointing the finger at Russia, with which France has been competing for influence in the country.
The French government had previously provided authorities in Bangui with 10 million euros ($12.18m) in budgetary support. It also maintains a force of nearly 300 soldiers in the CAR.
Russia has ramped up military support in the CAR, sending hundreds of military instructors to arm and train government troops to fend off the country’s myriad rebel movements.
Source: AL JAZEERA