The joint Congo (DRC)-Rwanda military push against the Rwandan Hutu rebels has ended with scant results. Fifteen years after the Rwanda genocide and the establishment of those rebels in the eastern Congo, they have not yet been disarmed and remain a source of extreme violence against civilians.
Eastern Chad is a powder keg with potential to destabilise the entire country as well as neighbouring states and worsen the already dire humanitarian situation. Local conflicts based on resource scarcity have been exacerbated by national and regional political manipulation.
Since the coup d’etat that brought President François Bozizé to power on 15 March 2003, the risk of renewed wider violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) has never been greater than today. The opening of an inclusive political dialogue on 8 December – initially planned for June 2008 – has continued to be negotiated inch by inch, but both the regime and the main opposition forces see armed conflict as the ultimate way out of the crisis and are making preparations to return to it.
The political and security crisis Chad faces is internal, and has been exacerbated rather than caused by the meddling of its Sudanese neighbours. Power has been monopolised by a Zaghawa military clan with President Idriss Déby at the top since 1990, leading to increased violence in political and social relations, ethnic tensions and distribution of the spoils of government on the basis of clan favouritism.
The Central African Republic (CAR) is if anything worse than a failed state: it has become virtually a phantom state, lacking any meaningful institutional capacity at least since the fall of Emperor Bokassa in 1979.
Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.