No Peace Prospects for CAR

UN peacekeepers are guarding Central African civilians in the capital city of Bangui UN peacekeepers are guarding Central African civilians in the capital city of Bangui Reuters

27 April 2017
12 months after the country’s first democratic presidential election the Central African Republic is still torn apart by a conflict began in 2013

Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who in 2016 became the first democratically elected president of the Central African Republic, has not managed to meet the citizens’ expectations and stabilize the country. Today, the government controls only the capital city of Bangui, while the rest of the territory is savaged by various armed groups.

The conflict started in 2013 with a Muslim rebellion in the traditionally Christian country, and then led to a de facto division between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north. Later, however, the relations between Muslims of different ethnic origin deteriorated, and they ended up fighting one another. Finally, factions vying for control united into the two main groups based on ethnicities: the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) and the Popular Front for the Renaissance in the Central African Republic (FPRC).

The humanitarian situation is getting worse as the fighting is reaching Bambari, the CAR’s second largest town, which to this date has remained conflict-free. All of the armed groups have a long record of oppressing civilians, to the point that some Muslims flee to Christian regions saying that they “feel better living […] with Christians than […] with Muslims.” The Red Cross and UN agencies have large operations in the field, but their resources are not enough to help all those in need.

In 2014, the UN sent a 13,000-strong peacekeeping force, MINUSCA, to put an end to the conflict. Today the troops, which have to fight on two fronts and which are struggling with internal discipline, are unable to carry out this task.

To this date, the total number of internally displaced people and refugees has surpassed 800,000 , and thousands more have been killed. With the government being unable to maintain control and international community lacking resolution, the prospects remain grim for CAR.


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