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Central African Republic

Central African Republic has been in turmoil since a violent takeover of power in 2013. The aftermath saw widespread violence as armed militia fought each other and took revenge on the population. The March 2016 election of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra brought an initial lull, but was followed by more fighting in late 2016 and early 2017 between armed groups including ex-Seleka factions and anti-balaka militias – both controlling vast areas of the country. Lasting peace is still some way off as neither the new government nor the large UN force have the means to force armed groups to negotiate and disarm. Crisis Group works to reduce the risk of large flare-ups and help defuse the country’s many conflicts, encouraging international actors to work to weaken armed groups and improve the chances of effective negotiation.

CrisisWatch Central African Republic

Unchanged Situation

Violence involving armed groups, army and UN peacekeepers continued, especially in centre. In Bambari in centre, ex-Seleka faction Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) and community defence militia clashed 6-7 June; unidentified gunmen attacked UN mission (MINUSCA) patrol between town centre and airfield 10 June, killing one Burundian peacekeeper. Alleged UPC same day fired on army convoy accompanied by peacekeepers near Bambari while en route from Grimari to Bangassou in south, injuring two soldiers and Russian instructor. In west, alleged Siriri militia attacked MINUSCA patrol in Dilapoko village, Mambéré-Kadéï prefecture 3 June, killing Tanzanian peacekeeper. France, U.S. and UK 14 June opposed request by CAR that UN exempt from 2013 arms embargo delivery of weapons from China, including anti-aircraft weapons, armoured vehicles, machine guns, tear gas and ammunition; MINUSCA and EU mission training CAR security forces had supported delivery. France and U.S. saw no threat of air attack that could justify govt obtaining anti-aircraft weapons, while UK expressed concern over transit of weapons through Cameroon without escort. International Criminal Court 8 June on appeal overturned former Congolese VP Bemba’s conviction for war crimes committed by his forces in CAR in 2002-2003.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

30 Oct 2017
International mobilization [in the Central African Republic] is much, much slower than the deterioration of the situation on the ground. World Politics Review

Thibaud Lesueur

Consulting Senior Analyst, Central Africa
10 Oct 2017
The main risk [of the escalating violence in Central African Republic] is really to come back to a conflict like it was in 2013, very close to a kind of civil war. The Washington Post

Thibaud Lesueur

Consulting Senior Analyst, Central Africa
23 Mar 2017
There is a risk that the process of negotiation [in the Central African Republic] around disarmament becomes bogged down and justice, including through the Special Criminal Court, accelerates. IRIN

Richard Moncrieff

Project Director, Central Africa
24 Feb 2017
Against the supposed Christian versus Muslim logic of this conflict [in the Central African Republic], we now see Muslim groups fighting Muslim groups, divided on ethnic lines and fighting for territory. IRIN

Richard Moncrieff

Project Director, Central Africa

Latest Updates

Op-Ed / Africa

In the Central African Republic, Peace Requires More Than a Bigger U.N. Force

The U.N. Security Coucil approved a resolution to extend the mandate of the U.N. Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) until 15 November 2018, also increasing the mission’s troop ceiling by 900. Richard Moncrieff, Project Director for Central Africa, states that the Central African Republic needs more than just troops to meet the country's security challenges.

Originally published in World Politics Review

Statement / Africa

Twelve Points for the New African Union Commission Chairperson

Africa is experiencing the highest number of humanitarian crises since the 1990s. As the new chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, takes office, International Crisis Group suggests how he can strengthen the organisation’s response to threats to continental peace and security.

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Thibaud Lesueur

Consulting Senior Analyst, Central Africa