France has suspended military cooperation with and economic aid to the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). France accuses C.A.R.’s government of being “complicit” in a Russian disinformation campaign targeting France, a French defense ministry official said to the media on Monday.

The French foreign ministry said that $12.2 million in economic aid to the C.A.R. government would be “suspended until further notice.” However, French humanitarian aid and other projects worth more than $7.3 million, which directly target the needy Central African population will continue, the ministry added.

The French military will also continue to provide about 100 soldiers in a European Union-led military training operation in the C.A.R.

“On several occasions, the Central African authorities have made commitments they haven’t respected, as much in the political area towards the opposition as with regards to their behavior towards France, which is the target of a massive disinformation campaign,” the unnamed spokesperson said.

While the campaign was orchestrated by Russia, “the Central Africans are at best complicit in this campaign,” the spokesman added.

Central African Republic Wagner Group UN peace mission
A Russian mercenary from the Wagner Group and a UN peacekeeper in the Central African Republic.

France also suspended military operations with the Malian Army after the second coup in the country in nine months. The French have 5,100 troops in Mali supporting Operation Barkhane. The operation tries to stem the tide of Islamic terrorist insurgents against Mali and the other Sahel nations.

France’s Interventions in the C.A.R.

Since granting the C.A.R. its independence in 1960 France has intervened seven times in its old colony to support it.

In 2013, a genocide nearly erupted in the African country. After a coup deposed President François Bozizé fighting broke out between Muslim rebel elements, which had deposed the president, and the Christians. The French rushed troops to C.A.R., kept the groups from slaughtering each other, and disarmed the militias.