CONTENT PREVIEW
Terrorism & Insurgency

Latest CAR peace deal unlikely to hold due to militia rivalry, with likely popular opposition triggering protests

07 February 2019
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President Faustin-Archange Touadéra speaks at the peace deal talks between the CAR government and 14 armed groups in Khartoum, Sudan, on 5 February. Source: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

Key Points

  • The collapse of seven previous peace agreements in CAR indicates that the latest deal will fail due to continued lack of homogeneity among militias refusing to cede territorial control and financial profit, and probable rivalry for official posts.
  • Likely entry into government of insurgent fighters will increase bribery and corruption risks.
  • Violent protests and riots are likely in Bangui, raising death and injury risks, if the accord allows militia leaders, already on international sanctions lists, to escape justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Event

The Central African Republic (CAR) government and 14 armed groups officially signed a peace agreement on 6 February in the capital, Bangui, aimed at ending years of fighting between the two sides, as well as intra-militia violence.

The CAR peace agreement was initialled in Khartoum, Sudan, on 5 February following African Union-mediated talks that opened in the Sudanese capital on 24 January, which were the continuation of a stalled process that began in August 2017. Many top insurgent commanders were present at the talks, including Noureddine Adam, leader of the main ex-Séléka group Front populaire pour la renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC); Ali Darassa of the ex-Séléka faction Unité pour la paix en centrafrique (UPC); and an anti-Balaka leader, Maxime Mokom. At one stage, the talks were suspended over sticking points revolving around the militias' main demands, namely a general amnesty for insurgents and the appointment of a prime minister drawn from their ranks.

Details of the agreement have not yet been revealed, indicating it probably contains provisions that will be unpalatable to the Central African people. Unconfirmed information suggests that a government of national unity will be formed, probably with an ex-Séléka official as prime minister. Under Western pressure, the CAR government has consistently rejected the idea of a general amnesty, and the agreement reportedly provides for a 'transitional justice' procedure under which crimes will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

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