A report from The Sentry says that French Castel Group is the third-largest wine producer worldwide, the second-largest brewer in Africa, and a major bottling partner for Coca-Cola in Africa, having some 240 subsidiaries in 50 countries. For almost 20 years, Castel Group has been operating Sucrerie Africaine de Centrafrique (African Sugar Refinery of the Central African Republic, or SUCAF RCA) in the Central African Republic (CAR). The report claims that in 2014 there was an “security arrangement” with an armed group, the Unité pour la paix en Centrafrique (Union for Peace in the Central African Republic, or UPC). It is claimed that the agreement between SUCAF RCA and UPC militias was active through to March 2021, but its future remains uncertain due to the deployment of governmental and Russian forces in territories formerly controlled by the UPC.
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