icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube

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

Armed groups violence decreased in north east but intensified in west, while attacks on NGOs increased in centre. In north east, attacks by armed groups eased following late May-early June joint operation by UN mission (MINUSCA) and armed forces around Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture’s capital Ndélé and govt 5 June deployment of police forces to support troops in area. Prominent Sudanese Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb, under International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for 15 years, reportedly surrendered to CAR authorities in north-eastern Vakaga prefecture’s capital Birao 7 June and was transferred to ICC next day. Violence increased in west after armed group Return, Restitution and Rehabilitation (3R) 5 June suspended participation in Feb 2019 peace agreement. 3R elements 9 June launched several attacks in Nana-Mambéré prefecture, notably against base of special mixed security units – comprising demobilised armed group members and soldiers – near city of Bouar, national army-UN checkpoint in Pougol village, and security forces outside Baoro village, reportedly leaving several injured. 3R leader Sidiki Abbas 11 June denied attacks and accused govt of “orchestrating chaos to justify postponement of [presidential and legislative] elections scheduled for Dec”. After MINUSCA and military 17 June launched joint counter-offensive in Nana-Mambéré prefecture, 3R elements 21 June allegedly ambushed joint MINUSCA and national army convoy near Besson town, killing five soldiers. MINUSCA and 3R reportedly clashed 29-30 June in Koui locality, Ouham-Pendé prefecture, death toll unknown. In centre north, NGOs 25 May-8 June suffered multiple attacks between Batangafo town in Ouham prefecture and Kaga-Bandoro town in Nana-Gribizi prefecture. In centre, anti-Balaka Ayoloma group 3-16 June carried out at least ten attacks on NGOs and UN vehicles on Grimari-Sibut axis in Ouaka and Kemo prefectures. Also in centre, armed group Patriotic Movement for Central Africa 11 June kidnapped several Fulani herders and stole livestock in Kemo prefecture. Constitutional Court 5 June rejected govt’s project to amend Constitution to enable extension of President Touadéra and MPs’ terms in case Dec elections are postponed due to COVID-19.

Continue reading

Reports & Briefings

In The News

21 Aug 2018
Russia is intensifying its relationships in Africa and [the Central African Republic] is one of their entry points. The government is weak so it’s an easy target. Financial Times

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa
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

Report / Africa

Avoiding the Worst in Central African Republic

Resurgent armed groups in Central African Republic are killing many civilians and causing widespread displacement. Government forces and the UN are in a weak position, and there are no quick solutions. To contain the violence, the government and international actors must agree on a roadmap for peace with armed groups that combines both incentives and coercive measures. 

Also available in Français
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.

Also available in Français
Alert / Africa

Centrafrique : alerte de crise

En Centrafrique, le statu quo qui a suivi l'investiture du président Touadéra en mars 2016 est déjà remis en cause. Les tensions montent tandis que le blocage est total sur l’accord de désarmement, démobilisation et réinsertion, nœud gordien de la crise centrafricaine. Tout doit être mis en œuvre lors de la conférence des donateurs pour la Centrafrique, qui se déroule le 17 novembre à Bruxelles, pour éviter une nouvelle tentative de déstabilisation, voire un renversement du pouvoir.

Also available in English

Our People

Thibaud Lesueur

Consulting Senior Analyst, Central Africa