Central African Republic

The Central African Republic has been in turmoil since a violent takeover of power in 2013. The aftermath saw armed groups conclude a multitude of peace agreements even as they continued to fight each other and launch attacks on the civilian population. The latest agreement, sponsored by the African Union and signed in February 2019 by the government and fourteen armed groups, raised hopes of peace. The violence has not stopped, however, and political tensions are again on the rise. Through on-the-ground reporting and advocacy, Crisis Group provides concrete advice on how to navigate both the critical electoral period in late 2020 and the long term, focusing on how to persuade armed groups to lay down their weapons.

CrisisWatch Central African Republic

Unchanged Situation

Rebels kept up operations in rural areas and President Touadéra continued to move toward constitutional revision despite opposition. Rebels maintained attacks in hinterland despite govt forces and allies’ operations. In Ouham prefecture, presumed Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) elements 1 Aug killed three civilians and one gendarme travelling between Kabo and Moyenne-Sido localities; 6 Aug killed one soldier and injured another in Lady village. CPC-affiliated rebel group 3R 2-3 Aug launched attacks in Nana-Mambéré prefecture, killing six villagers near Baboua town. In Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture, govt 8 Aug imposed night curfew in Ndélé town, fearing attack by CPC rebels coming from Nda town, 300km away in Vakaga prefecture; govt and Russian forces 15 Aug carried out joint operation in Nda after CPC elements were reported heading toward Ndélé. In Haute-Kotto prefecture, Rwandan peacekeepers 14 Aug arrived in Sam-Ouandja town, demanded CPC elements leave within 48 hours; rebels did not comply but no incidents reported. Govt troops 11 and 15 Aug arrested 30 people suspected of cooperating with rebels in Haute-Kotto’s capital Bria. Meanwhile, tensions persisted over Touadéra’s proposed constitutional revision, which could allow him to run for third term in next presidential election. Over 1,000 govt supporters 6 Aug demonstrated in capital Bangui in favour of constitutional referendum; pro-govt gatherings also reported in other cities. Constitutional Court 8 Aug rejected opposition’s petition against draft law on constitutional change, which govt adopted in July. In address to nation, Touadéra 12 Aug announced constitutional referendum, invoking “people’s aspirations”; 26 Aug signed decree setting up committee to draft new constitution, made up of 53 members mostly from ruling party. In response, Republican Bloc coalition of opposition parties and civil society organisations next day gathered hundreds in capital Bangui to denounce Touadéra’s “manipulation” and slide toward “dictatorship”; 31 Aug lodged petition with Constitutional Court against decree.

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In The News

6 Apr 2022
Some [armed groups in the Central African Republic] currently think that the fight between Russia and Ukraine may distract Russian Wagner forces and allow them to come ba... Foreign Policy

Hans De Marie Heungoup

Former, Senior Analyst, Central Africa
26 Jan 2021
One could now say that the government [of the Central African Republic] is no longer on the back foot or the defensive position and has launched an offensive [against the... Financial Times

Hans De Marie Heungoup

Former, Senior Analyst, Central Africa
25 Jan 2021
[The blockade of Bangui in the Central African Republic was] a deliberate tactic to strangle the capital economically, to force the government to the negotiating table. The Guardian

Hans De Marie Heungoup

Former, Senior Analyst, Central Africa
19 Jan 2021
Au lieu de réconcilier les Centrafricains, les élections présidentielle et législatives ont, en effet, davantage polarisé le paysage politique et la société centrafricain... Le Monde

Hans De Marie Heungoup

Former, Senior Analyst, Central Africa
13 Jan 2021
It seems likely that [the rebels’] intention is to cause trouble and to push the United Nations to defend Bangui, therefore leaving provincial towns vulnerable. Associated Press

Richard Moncrieff

Former Project Director, Sahel (Interim)
23 Dec 2020
If the elections are not conducted very well, they have the potential to spoil even the very little stability that the [Central Africa Republic] has got. Financial Times

Hans De Marie Heungoup

Former, Senior Analyst, Central Africa

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