n Conflict Trends - Conflict resolution in the Central African Republic : what role for civil society?

Volume 2014, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The Central African Republic (CAR) is currently facing a humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by events following the that ousted President François Bozizé in March 2013. In the aftermath of this coup, the conflict has assumed a largely sectarian dimension between the Muslim-dominated Séléka coalition and the mostly Christian self-defence militia known as anti-balaka. Both groups have gone on rampages committing atrocities, killing civilians and, in certain instances, mutilating bodies and burning them. The members of the groups also torture and rape civilians, loot and burn down houses and villages, and target convoys of people who are fleeing to neighbouring countries. Since the coup in March 2013, atrocities have allegedly been committed by the Central African Armed Forces - - and the Presidential Guard of President François Bozizé, while the Séléka and anti-balaka militias are also guilty of committing serious crimes against humanity.

The CAR is facing the worst crisis in its turbulent history, and thousands of civilians have been killed since March 2013. As of August 2014, over 400 000 Central Africans had fled to other countries in the region - notably Cameroon, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - and approximately 1 million people have been displaced. The justice system is functioning poorly, perpetrators of violence enjoy impunity and the formal economy has regressed uncontrollably. Civilians taking refuge in churches and camps are being attacked, and some are abducted and taken to undisclosed locations.

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