Central African Republic: Fire guts French-owned brewery

A fire, which the government says was arson, caused minor material damage Monday in a brewery owned by French alcohol giant Castel in the Central African Republic.

In the middle of the night, incendiary devices set fire to equipment in the heart of the MOCAF brewery (an acronym for Motte Cordonnier Afrique).

“It is an arson attack, so the government must open an investigation today to find out the origin,” Serge Ghislain Djorie, Minister of Communication and government spokesman, assured AFP by telephone.

The French ambassador, Jean-Marc Grosgurin, went in the morning on the spot “to mark his solidarity with the employees and the direction” following this “arson”, indicates the diplomatic representation on its Facebook page.

The diplomat thanked the rescue services “which have significantly limited the material damage”, says the embassy.

Neither the government, nor the French embassy, nor the management of MOCAF, wished to give details of the attack. No journalists were allowed to enter the site on Monday.

The Castel group, the embassy, NGOs and other French companies are targeted by smear campaigns, even threats from influential groups.

Castel acquired MOCAF in 1993, which has been present in the Central African Republic since 1953. This subsidiary is one of the largest producers and employers in the country.

The Central African Republic, the second least developed country in the world according to the UN, has been in the grip of a civil war since 2013, which has however largely diminished in intensity since 2018.

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