African Rainforest and Rivers Conservation (Central African Republic)

Country: Central African Republic
Details of Formation: The group was set up by the American family physician Bruce Hayse in 2001 when he obtained permission from C.A.R. President Ange-Felix Patasse to raise, arm and train a militia in the Chinko basin.
Details of Termination: President Patasse was overthrown in a coup in March 2003. This date is used as the end of the PGM, which has not mentioned again after the coup.
Purpose: The African Rainforest and Rivers Conservation was supposed to fight brutal (often Sudanese) poachers to save the remains of the country’s wildlife and protect villages from the gangs of poachers. The President benefitted from this approach as he could not afford to move any soldiers to the east and patrol the borders.
Organisation: The group is led by Bruce Hayse, who, alongside other American conservationists, spent up to $250,000 on the group. Hayse obtained a written permission from President Ange-Felix Patasse, who ceded him the authority over the entire Chinko River basin. The Americans recruited Dave Bryant as commando; Bryant was a former South African soldier with Special Forces training and experience in hunting poachers.
Weapons and Training: The group was armed and trained by American conservationists. They are trained in guerilla warfare tactics. The financial sources the group has access to are not enough to fully arm the militia and to support the patrols with rations and other necessities.
Size: A news source from December 2002 speaks of a 400-person militia of the African Rainforest and Rivers Conservation.
Reason for Membership: Some members were recruited from villages that had been terrorized by poachers.
Treatment of Civilians: This PGM tried to defend civilians against brutal poachers who were beating, raping, murdering and abducting civilians in remote villages.
Other Information: The “property” in the purpose category “protect property and investment” refers to wildlife.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD