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Violence erupted in capital Bangui leaving at least 51 dead and fighting between armed groups intensified in provinces especially in north east, where looming fight for provincial capital Birao could see worse violence in Jan. In Bangui’s PK5 neighbourhood, traders 24-28 Dec clashed with militia over latter’s demand for informal taxes, leaving at least 51 dead and several dozen injured. In far north east, armed group Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance (FPRC) 16 Dec launched attack against armed group Movement of Central African Liberators for Justice (MLCJ) capturing Am-Dafock on border with Sudan; fighting reportedly left several dozen combatants dead. FPRC 18 Dec ambushed MLCJ reinforcements en route from Birao, capital of Vakaga prefecture leaving at least 59 dead in Bihera. FPRC continued to prepare offensive to recapture Birao. In centre, unidentified assailants 3 Dec killed a Fulani near Bambari, Ouaka prefecture; Fulani-dominated armed group Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) held anti-balaka militia and security forces responsible. UPC 15 Dec attacked security forces in Ippy. In east, clashes between anti-balaka and FPRC in Bria, Haute-Kotto prefecture 5-10 Dec caused unknown number of casualties. In west, tensions rose in Bouar after soldier 1 Dec stabbed to death civilian; in Baboua communal skirmishes killed two people 28 and 31 Dec. Despite govt ban, party of former President Bozizé, Kwa Na Kwa (KNK), held rally in Bangui. KNK 16 Dec announced that Bozizé, in exile since his 2013 ouster, had returned to Bangui. EU 9 Dec formally established EU Advisory Mission in the Central African Republic (EUAM RCA) to support reform of internal security forces including police and gendarmerie; mission set to launch in mid-2020. International Criminal Court 11 Dec confirmed charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against former anti-balaka leaders Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona.
Security forces clashed with armed groups in provinces and capital Bangui, as disarmament and demobilisation efforts continued in west. In south east, after armed group Union for Peace in Central African Republic (UPC) mid-Oct invaded Bambouti, Haut-Mbomou prefecture on border with South Sudan, UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) 6 Nov called on UPC to withdraw and govt 13 Nov said it would deploy security forces to Bambouti. Security forces 21 and 27 Nov clashed with UPC combatants in Ouaka and Basse-Kotto prefectures leaving unknown number dead on both sides. In east, anti-balaka combatants and ex-Seleka combatants 26 Nov clashed near Bria, Haute-Kotto prefecture leaving three anti-balaka dead. In north, high-level delegation of govt officials and international partners in Ndélé, Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture 14 Nov sought to persuade Abdoulaye Hissene, leader of armed group Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance (FPRC), not to retaliate against rival armed group Movement of Central African Liberators for Justice (MLCJ) following clashes in recent months, but Hissene vowed to take revenge if justice was not done. Clashes between security forces and rebel group Patriotic Movement for the Central African Republic (MPC) in Kaga-Bandoro left five rebels dead. In west, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process continued: 160 combatants of armed group Return, Restitution and Rehabilitation (3R) 4-7 Nov disarmed and demobilised in Koui and Makoundji Wali, Ouham Pende prefecture. In Chad, authorities 19 Nov arrested four members of CAR armed group Democratic Front of the Central African People (FPDC) including leader Abdoulaye Miskine; govt requested his extradition. In capital Bangui, clashes between security forces and ex-Seleka combatants 19 Nov left around ten dead. Self-defence groups 29 Nov clashed in PK5 leaving two dead. UN Security Council 15 Nov renewed MINUSCA mandate for one year and expanded it to include support for presidential, legislative and local elections scheduled for 2020-2021. EU 5 Nov delivered 38 vehicles to CAR security forces; 21 Nov adopted concept for new mission to support security sector reform in CAR (EUAM RCA).
Violence between armed groups continued in north east, centre and south east, as President Touadéra sought to strengthen relations with Rwanda and Russia. In north east, clashes between armed groups Movement of Central African Liberators for Justice (MLCJ) and Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance (FPRC) in Am-Dafock, Vakaga prefecture 14 Oct left 21 FPRC and three MLCJ dead. In centre, anti-balaka militants and armed group Union for Peace in Central African Republic (UPC) clashed in Tagbara, Ouaka prefecture 3 Oct leaving six combatants dead. Raids by unidentified gunmen in Basse-Kotto and Ouaka prefectures 8 and 10 Oct left at least a dozen civilians dead. In far south east in Haut-Mbomou prefecture near border with South Sudan, UPC 15 Oct invaded Bambouti; night of 25-26 Oct attacked NGO vehicle leaving at least four people missing; 27 Oct reportedly clashed with Fulani herders leaving seven UPC fighters and unknown number of Fulani dead. UN mission (MINUSCA) 16 Oct announced conclusion of first phase of operation against armed group Return, Restitution and Rehabilitation (3R) in west to force it to comply with Feb peace deal. Hundreds protested in capital Bangui 29 Oct calling for arrest of former National Assembly President Karim Meckassoua accusing him of involvement in armed group violence in PK5 district. Over 1,300 army recruits graduated from basic training 16-17 Oct; 1,023 trained by army and EU training mission, 343 by army and Russian trainers. In Bouar in west, President Touadéra 16 Oct launched training of over 500 future members of special mixed security units to comprise soldiers and former armed group members. Touadéra 15 Oct received Rwandan President Kagame and signed agreements aimed at strengthening military and economic cooperation. Touadéra 23-24 Oct attended Africa-Russia summit in Sochi, Russia and asked Russian President Putin to increase his military support to CAR; 25 Oct said he would consider establishment of Russian military base in CAR.
Fighting between armed groups surged in north east leaving over 40 combatants dead; authorities launched mediation initiatives but tensions remained high. In north east, fighting between armed groups Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance (FPRC) and Movement of Central African Liberators for Justice (MLCJ) in Birao 1, 3 and 14 Sept left at least 44 combatants dead and over 14,000 displaced; fighting sparked when ethnic Runga FPRC members late Aug killed son of Sultan of Birao who was Kara, dominant tribe in MLCJ. Amid mediation initiatives, over 100 FPRC combatants 20 Sept left group’s base in Ndele for Birao, raising risk of reprisal attacks in coming weeks. In north west, UN mission (MINUSCA) 26-28 Sept conducted operation against armed group Return, Restitution and Rehabilitation (3R) in Ouham Pende, Nana Mambere and Mambere Kadei prefectures destroying several bases, seizing vehicles and weapons. MINUSCA helicopter 27 Sept crashed in Bouar in west leaving three peacekeepers dead. In south east, armed group Union for Peace in Central African Republic (UPC) 3 Sept attacked gold mine in Basse-Kotto prefecture, leaving unknown number dead. Suspected members of Lord’s Resistance Army armed group 16 Sept attacked Gbassigbiri village, Mbomou province killing three villagers. Following late Aug resignation of armed group leader Mahamat Al Khatim from position as special adviser in charge of mixed security units in north centre, leader of armed group 3R, Sidiki Abass, 3 Sept resigned from same role for north west. UN Security Council 12 Sept partially lifted arms embargo on CAR. President Touadéra 5 Sept met French President Macron in Paris and discussed France’s renewed support to govt. EU 26 Sept announced it would contribute some $65mn to support implementation of Feb peace agreement. Sudan 26 Sept said it would close its border with CAR citing security concerns.
Amid slow implementation of Feb peace agreement, low-level armed group violence and banditry continued especially in centre. In north west, suspected members of Return, Restitution and Rehabilitation (3R) armed group 5 Aug shot and killed youth in Sarki, Ouham Pende province. In east, suspected fighters from armed group Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance 17 Aug killed three in Bria, Haute-Kotto prefecture. In west, anti-balaka militants 19 Aug reportedly killed two Fulani civilians in Boda, Lobaye prefecture. Parties to Feb peace agreement 23-24 Aug met in capital Bangui to stake stock of implementation: UN envoy to CAR Mankeur N’Diaye threatened sanctions against those who breached agreement. Leader of rebel group Patriotic Movement for the Central African Republic (MPC) Mahamat al-Khatim 27 Aug resigned from his position as special adviser in charge of special mixed security units in centre-north zone. Russia 14 and 18 Aug handed over weapons and ammunition to army. Kwa Na Kwa (KNK), party of former President Bozizé in exile in Uganda after Seleka rebel coalition ousted him from power in 2013, 12 Aug said it would leave presidential majority to stand as opposition party in 2020 elections with Bozizé as presidential candidate.
Violence between armed groups continued in capital Bangui and provinces, while efforts to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate rebel fighters advanced slightly in west. Clashes between traders and self-defence groups in PK5 neighbourhood of capital Bangui 10-11 July left eleven dead. In north east, fighting between armed groups Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance (FPRC) and Movement of Central African Liberators for Justice (MLCJ) in Am-Dafock, Vakaga prefecture 14 July left between nine and 23 dead. Armed group Union for Peace in Central African Republic (UPC) 26 July attacked Ngoulaka village, Ouaka prefecture and abducted 25 people. In west, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process progressed: 167 members of armed group Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC) 2-3 July disarmed in Beloko, Nana Mambere prefecture. UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) 17 July said that since process began in Dec 2018 over 450 combatants had disarmed in Nana Mambere prefecture. MLCJ 11 July said it had removed all its roadblocks. Ali Darassa, leader of UPC, 15 July ordered his men to remove roadblocks in several villages of Ouaka and Haute Kotto prefectures. FPRC leader Nourredine Adam 26 July announced immediate and complete cessation of hostilities. FDPC leader Abdoulaye Miskine 30 July called on President Touadéra to immediately resign, if not, he threatened to remove him by force. France 7 July took lead of EU Training Mission and increased troops in mission from 80 to 140; French General Franck Chatelus appointed MINUSCA chief of staff 8 July. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini 12 July announced EU would put additional €55mn in fund for CAR and extend it until 2020.