Where To Go From Here – The Organization for World Peace
The Central African Republic (CAR) has been embroiled in a deadly conflict since a predominantly Muslim coalition of Seleka rebels overthrew then-president François Bozizé in 2013. Christians. In recent years, government forces – backed by UN peacekeepers and Russian and Rwandan troops – have fought the Coalition of Patriots for Change. The CCP is seeking to overturn the outcome of the December 2020 elections, which saw President Faustin-Archange Touadéra re-elected for a second term. The ensuing clashes displaced more than 1.4 million people, according to the UN, which says 710,000 took refuge in neighboring countries and another 712,000 were internally displaced in September 2021. In these dire circumstances, the international community continues to press for a peaceful settlement. Resolution in the CAR Yet one cannot help but feel frustrated with a diplomatic process that has produced so few positive results.
At the end of 2020, President Touadéra promised to hold a national reconciliation dialogue following his controversial re-election. It was a positive sign when he said talks with the opposition and civil society would begin on March 21.st of this year. Unfortunately, the agenda for these talks was vague and lacked substantive objectives. The opposition boycotted and no rebel groups were invited. As a result, the talks ended without any real progress.
International confidence in the process has waned, despite the announcement of 600 recommendations at the closing ceremony. “The president has always said that he would bring peace to this country through dialogue,” reassured Albert Yaloke Mokpeme, spokesman for the presidency. “All recommendations are needed.” But Thierry Vircoulon, a specialist in Central Africa at the French Institute of International Relations, disagrees. Vircoulon said the recommendations “will not be implemented”, continuing that “even if the government wanted to…it has neither the time nor the money”.
While international actors have aired their frustrations, closer examination shows that they too played a role in perpetuating this civil war. In March 2021, UN experts, including those from the Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries, expressed concern over reports of crimes and human rights violations committed by the Wagner Group. , a Russian mercenary organization with alleged ties to oligarchs close to Putin. The alleged crimes include extrajudicial executions, acts of torture, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances and forced displacements. Wagner worked in conjunction with state security forces and, in some cases, UN peacekeepers.
Political commentators like Antoine Roger Lakongo, meanwhile, have accused France of being a “burden” on the CAR and France’s other former African colonies. Lakongo alleges that France helped orchestrate Bozizé’s disappearance as the CAR formed closer diplomatic ties with China, threatening France’s monopoly over CAR’s natural resources. France and the Seleka coalition then reportedly fell out once its links to Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) and Boko Haram in Nigeria became clearer to the public. All of this is on top of France’s colonial neglect of the CAR and its long history of military interference in the CAR after independence. What remains is a “phantom state” locked in civil war while rapacious corporations around the world continue to extract its timber, oil, diamonds and uranium.
At the same time, the CCP has also come under scrutiny for its actions. In its 2022 World Report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed that between December 15, 2020 and June 21, 2021, CCP fighters killed at least 61 civilians, many of whom were allegedly targeted for voting in the presidential election. HRW has also received “credible reports” throughout 2021 of dozens of civilians who have been killed in Ouaka province by fighters from the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic, a CCP Landmines ally placed by Fighters from 3R, another rebel group that sides with the CCP, in an apparent attempt to repel attacks by national forces and their foreign allies in Ouham Pende province, killed at least 20 civilians. Among the dead were a Catholic mission worker and an aid worker.
With tensions so high, it’s easy to see why the spring 2022 talks failed.
It is important that the two parties agree to a ceasefire and that the influx of foreign arms into the CAR is reduced. Furthermore, President Touadéra must seriously engage in a dialogue of national reconciliation involving all the major players in the future of the nation. Moreover, the commitments and recommendations resulting from these talks must be substantial, clear and approved by a majority. The CCP, meanwhile, could take a more flexible approach to the government. Although the current wave of conflict began after the disputed 2020 elections, free and fair elections alone are unlikely to be enough to solve the myriad problems plaguing the CAR The government must work to mend the divisions in the countries, especially between rural areas and Bangui. With a foundation of inclusiveness, security and stability, RCA can finally begin to move forward.