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Journalist Known For Wagner PMC Crimes Investigations Assaulted in Central African Republic


Journalist Philip Obaji Jr. was assaulted in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, last Wednesday evening. Unknown assailants, who Obaji claims to have been soldiers of the Central African Armed Forces, attacked and detained him.

This incident follows years of investigative journalism exposing human rights abuses, including gut-wrenching massacres, perpetrated by mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group active in the Central African Republic and Mali. Despite facing threats and operating in a perilous environment, Obaji Jr. continued his work. He became a target himself when his photo started circulating in local chat groups linked to Wagner recruits. They labeled him an obstacle to their fight against extremism, accusing him of being a Western agent who should be arrested or killed.

Obaji Jr., reflecting on the escalating dangers, stated, “The CAR is a very dangerous place to be a journalist. In the last decade, a number of reporters have been killed while carrying out their work. (…) But there was still more to discover about Russia’s involvement in the CAR and no amount of intimidation was going to stop me from continuing my investigation." Obaji Jr. is renowned for his investigations into human rights abuses by Russian paramilitaries in Africa. He has extensively covered the actions of Russian Wagner Group mercenaries, highlighting cases of sexual violence and child abductions. His reporting has drawn ire and threats from various armed groups in the region.

Internationally recognized, Obaji Jr. has published significant articles such as “Putin’s Private Army Accused of Raping New Moms on Maternity Ward,” “Putin’s Private Army Accused of Massacring Dozens to Seize Gold Mine,” “Russia’s Shadow Army Accused in Mysterious Teen Abductions,” and “Why Putin’s Private Army Is Snatching Kids From Their Moms.” His work plays a crucial role in bringing attention to human rights violations in the Central African Republic.

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