Violence in the Central African Republic
Escalation of sectarian violence in the Central African Republic between the Seleka rebels and "anti-balaka" militias, possibly resulting in mass atrocities
An insurgency in the Central African Republic (CAR) led by Seleka (or “alliance”)—a coalition of armed, primarily Muslim groups—has resulted in the severe deterioration of the country’s security infrastructure and heightened ethnic tensions, which collectively increase the risk of mass atrocities. Seleka launched an offensive against the CAR government in December 2012, seizing the capital city of Bangui in March 2013. “Anti-balaka” coalitions of Christian fighters formed to carry out reprisal violence against Seleka fighters, displacing tens of thousands of Muslims to Seleka-controlled areas in the north.
The CAR has since seen a surge in human rights violations (including possible war crimes and crimes against humanity), increasing tensions between Christians and Muslims, intra-Seleka fighting, and the arrival of foreign fighters from Chad and Sudan.
The UN Security Council in April 2014 approved a resolution authorizing the deployment of ten thousand peacekeepers to the CAR to bolster the ongoing African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), authorized last December. The Economic Community of Central African States also helped to establish an eighteen-month roadmap for a peaceful transition to democracy.
In November 2014, the anti-balaka group pledged to lay down its arms to pursue political action. Yet prospects for a successful political transition remain grim: thousands have been killed and over a fourth of the country has been displaced since the outbreak of fighting.
The United States has long supported economic growth, strengthening the rule of law, and political stability in CAR, and it remains concerned about the slow pace of democratization and support of human rights. Further deterioration of the security environment will increase sectarian violence and the risk of mass atrocities committed by soldiers against civilians.
- A brief guide to one of the world's least-understood crises: the Central African Republic
Amanda Taub, Vox
- History shows that the peace agreement in the Central African Republic probably won’t stick
Hilary Matfess, Quartz
May 13, 2015
- Central African Republic Militias Poised to Sign Disarmament Agreement
Clár Ní Chonghaile, Guardian
May 8, 2015
- Central African Republic: Reconciliation after the violence?
May 5, 2015
- Crossed Fates in Central African Republic
Whitney Richardson, New York Times
February 18, 2015
- Central African Republic: Armed Groups in CAR
- 2015 UNHCR country operations profile - Central African Republic
- Country at a Glance: Central African Republic
The World Bank
- Central African Republic
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- Resolution 2217
United Nations Security Council
April 28, 2015
- Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Central African Republic (S/2014/857)
November 28, 2014
- Secretary-General's Remarks to the Security Council on the Situation in the Central African Republic
United Nations Security Council
February 20, 2014
- U.S. Relations With Central African Republic
U.S. Department of State
January 30, 2014
- MINUSCA: United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic
- USAID Sustains Commitment to Peacebuilding in the Central African Republic
November 10, 2014
- Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa
Paul D. Williams, CFR Council Special Report
- African Union Peace Operations: From Rhetoric to Reality
Stewart M. Patrick, CFR Blog, "The Internationalist"
November 17, 2014
- Central African Republic: Forgotten Crisis
Thomas Zuber, guest blogger for John Campbell, CFR Blog, "Africa in Transition"
October 22, 2014
- Central African Republic: “It’s the Economy, Stupid!”
Emily Mellgard, guest blogger for John Campbell's CFR Blog, "Africa in Transition"
July 2, 2014
- Central African Republic: Chaos Could Further Radicalize the Conflict
Guest Blogger Emily Mellgard for John Campbell, CFR.org blog "Africa in Transition"
June 13, 2014
- Central African Republic in Crisis
Rona Peligal and Irina A. Faskianos, CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call
May 28, 2014