Central African Republic Recent History
The activities of several rebel groups were directed against the Bozizé government. The conflicts in the neighboring countries Sudan (Darfur) and Chad also had a destabilizing effect. In February 2007 and June 2008, peace agreements were concluded with various rebel groups (including the Union des Forces Démocratiques pour le Rassemblement [UFDR]). The agreements provided for the disarmament of the rebels and their incorporation into the army. With the help of multinational peacekeepers and the formation of a “government of national unity” under the leadership of Prime Minister Faustin-Archange Touadéra domestic conflicts should be further contained. In 2009, rebels from the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacked the Central African Republic. In the same year, the former President Patassé returned from exile.
Due to the lack of internal stability, the government had to postpone the parliamentary and presidential elections due in 2010 according to the constitution. On January 23, 2011, incumbent Bozizé was able to defeat his competitors (including A.-F. Patassé ) push through. The opposition alleged irregularities in the elections and boycotted the second round of parliamentary elections on March 27, 2011. The presidential party »Kwa na Kwa« and its allied MPs secured a three-quarters majority of the seats in the National Assembly. In August 2012, the important rebel group Convention des patriotes pour la justice et la paix (CPJP) also joined the peace agreement of June 2008. After allegations against the government of not having complied with the requirements of the agreement, new fighting broke out in December 2012 between the army and rebel units affiliated to the Alliance Séléka (including UFDR, CPJP). With a peace agreement signed on January 11, 2013 in Gabon with the mediation of the Central African Economic Community. Led to the formation of a unity government in 2013, the conflict could not be resolved. On March 24, 2013, the mainly Muslim rebels took control of the capital Bangui and occupied the presidential palace. president Bozizé fled abroad. The UFDR leader Michel Djotodia (* 1949) declared himself the new head of state and suspended the constitution. In the months that followed, the country fell into chaos. The formation of a transitional government, the establishment of a transitional parliament and Djotodia’s swearing- in as president on August 18, 2013 did not lead to domestic political stability. There were riots and looting as well as attacks by the Séléka militias, which can no longer be controlled, on the civilian population. Tens of thousands fled their homes. The situation worsened after supporters of the ousted President Bozizé In the north-west of the country in particular, Christian self-defense militias (anti-balaka militias) were formed. An African Union peacekeeping mission failed to bring the situation under control and stop the increasingly religiously motivated and bloody conflicts. Hundreds of thousands became refugees. On December 5, 2013, the UN Security Council approved a military operation. France sent troops (“Opération Sangaris”) to support the units of the African Union. Nonetheless, the situation remained precarious.
In response to international pressure, Djotodia finally announced his resignation from the presidency on January 10, 2014. According to prozipcodes, on January 20, 2014, the interim parliament elected the mayor of Bangui, Catherine Samba-Panza (* 1956), as the new interim president. After Djotodia’s resignation Muslim shops and mosques were destroyed in Bangui by the anti-Balaka militias, and numerous Muslims were killed. The soldiers of the African Union (AU) and France, who were brought together in the Mission Internationale de Soutien à la Centrafrique (MISCA), were unable to adequately protect the population. By the end of March 2014, most of the Muslims had been driven out of the capital. On July 23, 2014, representatives of the Séléka and anti-Balaka militias signed a ceasefire agreement in Brazzaville, the capital of the neighboring Republic of the Congo. In September 2014, the MISCA was integrated into a UN mission, the Mission Multidimensionnelle Intégrée des Nations Unies pour la Stabilization en Centrafrique (MINUSCA). Germany also sent planes and ten Bundeswehr soldiers to the Central African Republic. In spite of the international peace efforts, violent clashes occurred again and again. The interim government formed on August 22, 2014 under Prime Minister Mahamat Kamoun (* 1961) remained dependent on the support of MINUSCA. The cabinet began implementing its economic emergency program, but continued to rely heavily on financial aid from abroad. At a donor conference for the Central African Republic at the end of May 2015 in Brussels, Interim President Samba-Panza lamented the slow disbursement of financial aid promised from abroad. On December 13, 2015, a referendum was overshadowed by violent unrest, in which around 93% of the voters voted for a new constitution. Around 37.9% of those eligible to vote took part in the vote. In the same month, Muslim rebels proclaimed an autonomous republic in the north-east of the country. Despite the unstable situation, presidential and parliamentary elections were held on December 30, 2015. In the presidential elections, none of the candidates achieved the absolute majority required for the first ballot. The parliamentary elections were annulled on January 26, 2016 by the Constitutional Court. According to the election commission, Faustin-Archange Touadéra sat down in the runoff election for president on February 14, 2016with 62.7% of the votes against Anicet-Georges Dologuélé (* 1957), who received 37.3% of the votes. The Touadéra, who ran as an independent candidate, was prime minister from 2008–13, and the finance expert Dologuélé, candidate for the Union pour le Renouveau Centrafricain, held this post from 1999–2001. On March 30, 2016, Touadéra was sworn in as the new President. On April 2, 2016, he appointed Simplice Sarandji (* 1955) as the new Prime Minister, whose cabinet replaced the previous transitional government on April 11, 2016. The still unresolved conflict between the Muslim and Christian militias and the high number of refugees posed major challenges for the new government. In 2017, the fighting between the rival units increased in intensity and frequency.