Central African Republic – Trapped in a Cycle of Violence? Causes, Conflict Dynamics and Prospects for Peace

Authors:

  • Gabriella Ingerstad

Publish date: 2014-05-22

Report number: FOI-R--3877--SE

Pages: 82

Written in: English

Keywords:

  • Central African Republic
  • Séléka
  • Anti-Balaka
  • François Bozizé
  • France
  • MINUSCA
  • MISCA
  • EUFOR RCA
  • Africa
  • Central Africa
  • Chad
  • conflict dynamics
  • ethnic cleansing
  • violence against civilians
  • African security
  • humanitarian crisis

Abstract

The violent conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) has had devastating consequences for the population, with hundreds of thousands displaced and thousands dead. While the violent conflict has resulted in polarisation of Christians and Muslims, description of the conflict as religious or ethnic is simplistic and does little to guide international actors in their efforts to find a peaceful resolution in CAR. This report shows that the underlying causes of the violence lie instead in the failed democratisation process, the lack of development and economic opportunities for segments of the population, the absence of a functioning state and power struggles within the political elite. A detailed narrative of the events unfolding between December 2012 and March 2014 provides a chronological description of the actors' behaviours, the triggers of violence and the changing conflict dynamics. The analysis shows that international partners can support CAR and its population in a number of ways in the short, medium and long term by providing security and supporting development efforts.

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