France has suspended aid and military cooperation with the Central Africa Republic over what it says is the government’s failure to stop “massive disinformation campaigns” against France that have targeted its officials, the French armed forces ministry said.
France has cut 10 million euros ($12.18 million) in budget support for its former colony and stopped direct military cooperation, the ministry told reporters on Tuesday.
“A number of commitments made by the Central African authorities vis-à-vis France have not been kept,” the ministry said, including halting the online campaigns that it says have sought to undermine French influence.
France has nearly 300 soldiers in the country, including those working for a U.N. peacekeeping mission and a European Union training deployment.
The international missions will remain unaffected, but soldiers working directly for the French military will no longer cooperate with the Central Africa Republic’s military, the ministry said.
France has a history of military interventions in its former colony, including during a civil war from 2013-2016 and amid election-related fighting in January.
Bangui seems to have shifted ties towards Russia since the invitation of Russian mercenaries to assist its military stamp out the many militia groups waging war against the government in Bangui.
France sees the Russian presence in the country as a huge betrayal from a long-time partner and former colony.