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Central African Republic

Yearbook 2015

Central African Republic. During the year, several peace agreements were signed in the war-torn country, including one in April between former Presidents François Bozizé and Michel Djotodia. However, this was dismissed by the sitting transitional government. In May, a reconciliation meeting was held in the capital Bangui. But neither this nor any other agreement or meeting involved all the parties involved, so no lasting peace could be achieved. According to COUNTRYAAH, the conflict is simply expressed between former members of the rebel movement Séléka, who are mainly Muslims, and the Christian militias called anti-Balaka.

2015 Central African Republic

In March, the European peacekeeping force EUFOR RCA left the country after barely a year's effort. The missions to secure Bangui airport and prepare the way for the UN force MINUSCA were considered completed. Violence, however, flared up several times during the year. In addition to a large number of "domestic" deaths, a UN soldier fell during a firefight in August. The following month, fierce fighting broke out in Bangui with at least 60 casualties over a few days. In addition, about 500 prisoners were released after militia militants attacked a prison. Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza requested that the UN mandate MINUSCA to disarm the various armed militias and rebel groups.

Although diamond exports from the Central African Republic in accordance with the Kimberley Process certification system have been banned since 2013, smuggling from militarily controlled areas has continued. This, in turn, has fueled the conflict, not least because the money for the conflict diamonds financed arms purchases. In May, the UN imposed sanctions on the Central African diamond company BADICA and its Belgian sister company KARDIAM, which were accused of being involved in illegal diamond trading. Sanctions were also directed at a former Séléka commander as well as the leaders of two anti-Balaka groups.

Elections were tentatively scheduled to be held in July and August, but the unstable and violent situation in the country caused the elections to be postponed, first until October and then until December. A referendum on a new constitution was supposed to be held on October 4, before the parliamentary and presidential elections, but this could also be postponed in the future. A week later, the head of the country's electoral authority resigned. In October, Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza emphasized the importance of holding elections before the turn of the year.

After all, the referendum was carried out in mid-December. Admittedly, the election was extended one day due to violence, including in the form of gunfire between people in Bangui's Muslim-dominated residential areas and MINUSCA soldiers. In most places, however, the vote was calm. Voting was low, just under 40 per cent, but among those voting, support for the new constitution was massive. About 93 percent voted in favor of the proposal, which meant, among other things, that members of the transitional council were not allowed to stand in the next election. The term of office of the President was limited to two years and the legislative power is placed with the Senate.

In mid-December, the Autonomous Republic of Logone was proclaimed in the northeastern part of the country. Large parts of the area are said to be controlled by the rebel group Front Popularie pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC), formerly part of Séléka. According to the FPRC leader, Noureddine Adam, this part of the country was completely abandoned by the central government. Adam was Minister of Security during Michel Djotodia's time as President.

The civil war, as so often the case in conflicts of this kind, has hit the children hard. In the Central African Republic as listed by Abbreviationfinder.org, children have not only been forced to become soldiers and slaves by militia groups on both sides. In May, a highly regarded Swedish UN official submitted a secret stamped report to a French prosecutor. In the report, French soldiers in the UN service were accused of exposing children to sexual abuse. The UN official was temporarily suspended for relaying the internal report. In June, there were further charges of sexual abuse of children by UN soldiers. The repeated revelations about how children were subjected to sexual abuse in August led UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to dismiss the chief of the UN force MINUSCA.

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