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

Violence mounted in west and centre, while security situation continued to improve in north east. In west, armed group Return, Reclamation et Rehabilitation (3R) continued to step up attacks against UN mission (MINUSCA) in Nana-Mambéré prefecture. 3R 5 July threatened to render region ‘‘ungovernable’’ if MINUSCA does not withdraw, prompting thousands to flee and several NGOs to put their operations on hold in following days. 3R anti-tank mine 8 July damaged MINUSCA vehicle near Baboua, also Niem-Besson axis, in first explosive device incident in country since 2014; in following days, MINUSCA discovered several IEDs in area. 3R elements 13 July clashed with MINUSCA troops in Gedze village, killing blue helmet and injuring two others. In centre, armed group violence continued; notably, clash between Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) and anti-Balaka elements 12 July left three civilians and one UPC member dead in Zangba village, Basse-Koto prefecture. Ethnic Goula armed group Party for the Reunification of the Central African Nation (PRNC) 22 July killed at least two ethnic Sara civilians in Bougnoul Niakania village, Haute-Kotto prefecture; in alleged reprisal, Sara assailants next day killed ethnic Goula in Bornou village; PRNC next day attacked Bornou, leaving at least ten Sara dead and 20 wounded. In north east, first phase of Disarmament, Demobilisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration program ended 9 July, with 348 demobilised Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance (FPRC) combatants. Suspected PRNC 19 July killed three civilians in Krakoma village, Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture. National Council of Fulani Chiefs 14 July announced its support for President Touadéra’s candidacy in presidential election scheduled for Dec. In following days, opposition accused Touadéra of secretly holding talks with Fulani-dominated armed groups 3R and UPC to secure Fulani votes. Former President Bozizé 25 July said he would run for top office again in Dec. UN Security Council 28 July extended sanctions against CAR, including arms embargo, until 31 July 2021.

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