Mediation and support for the peace process in the Central African Republic

Since its independence in 1960, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been prey to chronic instability. The severe crisis that broke out in 2012 threatened to provoke the dissolution of the country, with a million lives lost and a million more displaced. Despite national and international efforts, the state has struggled to extend its authority beyond the capital of Bangui while armed groups continue to control a majority of the country’s territory. This is the context in which HD is providing support to stabilise the country.

Context

In 2012, the Central African Republic (CAR) was shaken by the worst crisis of its recent history, though one of many in a string of crises since its independence in 1960. The outbreak of violence, initially political in nature, was instrumentalised by armed groups and government forces, quickly taking a religious turn as Christians aligned themselves with Anti-Balaka forces, facing off against Muslims associated with the ex-Seleka. The successive coup d’états of 2013 and the massacres that followed led to an intervention by an international military presence, initially through the auspices of the African Union (AU), with the support of France, and in turn by the United Nations (UN). These operations would enable the establishment of transitional governance institutions in January 2014.

The transitional period from 2014 to 2016 allowed for a degree of calm, the establishment of an inclusive peace process and for national elections to be held in February 2016. The elections were considered to have been transparent and conducted in a peaceful manner. Nevertheless, the transition did little to resolve underlying structural problems. The fragility of the state apparatus, which continues to struggle to impose its authority outside of the capital of Bangui; a lack of adequate infrastructure; rampant corruption and poverty; and porous borders, continue to threaten the stability of CAR.

General Mohamed Mousa Dhaffane (left), representative of the ex-Seleka and Patrice Edouard Ngaissona, representative of the Anti-Balakas, signing the CAR cessation of hostilities agreement on 23 July 2014 in Brazzaville. ⓒLaudes Martial Mbon/IRIN

President Faustin-Archange Touadéra delivered a speech to the nation during his inauguration on 30 March 2016, instituting his key priorities and principles: the establishment of security, justice, and a reconciliation process.

His government would go on to sign the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic (APPR-RCA) with 14 armed groups on 6 February 2019. Under this accord, the armed groups agreed to a cessation of hostilities in exchange for the inclusion of representatives in the institutions of the republic. The parties further reached an agreement on the parameters of a judicial and reconciliation process, the establishment of mixed security units and the participation of irregular combatants in a process of demobilisation and reintegration. Nevertheless, as different parties to the conflict continue to fragment, the implementation of the APPR-RCA requires an ongoing mechanism for dialogue to adapt to new developments.

Activities

HD has been present in CAR since 2007, contributing to national peace and reconciliation processes through dialogue and mediation. The organisation was one of the first to contribute to the establishment of the politically inclusive dialogue of 2008 and to the Bangui National Forum in 2015, which led to the adoption of the Republican Pact for Peace, National Reconciliation and Reconstruction and the opening of inroads towards the principles of the Landmark Agreement on Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR).

HD further assisted in the organisation of the general elections of 2015-2016. Since the elections, HD has provided its expertise in establishing a political dialogue between the Central African government and the 14 armed groups which challenged its authority. The APPR-RCA was adopted as part of this process, a result of HD’s mediation support to the African Union.

The key objectives of the organisation have since been to:

  • Provide council to the signatory parties of the APPR-RCA and contribute to its success in order to establish greater stability in the country;
  • Provide support and accompany the transitional justice process while encouraging it’s elaboration through the DDRR process;
  • Facilitate the mediation of local peace accords, the management of inter-communal natural resources and negotiate guarantees of humanitarian access with armed groups.

Financial Support

HD would like to express its gratitude to the European Union and the United Kingdom for their support since 2014 and 2019, respectively.

Agreements and statements

Related Publications

Related News

Audio

  • Conférence-débat à l’Université de Bangui sur le thème « Diplomatie et développement : Réflexion sur une nouvelle approche pour le relèvement de la RCA »  qui s’est tenue le 15 janvier 2016 de 10h à 12h 30. L’enregistrement vient du journal de 07h, 16 décembre, de Radio Centrafrique.
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