June 21 was an historic day for many victims of war in the Central African Republic (CAR). This was the day that the wheels of international justice, through the International Criminal Court, finally turned on Jean Pierre Bemba, the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the rape and pillage committed by his troops in CAR between 2002 and 2003. After 13 years, this judgment finally felt like something of a real victory for defenders of justice and other innocent Central Africans living under a climate of total impunity for perpetrators of atrocities.
Think the ultimate victor in the U.S. presidential race faces a tough task? The effort to unite a divided America pales in comparison to what lies ahead for Faustin Archange Touadéra, a mathematics professor by tradewho was elected president of the Central African Republic (CAR) last week. Touadéra received a strong mandate from the population, capturing 63% of the votes. The nation’s troubles are, however, far from over, and his immense to-do list might scare many heads of state into early retirement.
Central African Republic’s President, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, assumed office on March 30, 2016, vowing “to make CAR a united country, a country of peace, a country facing development.” During his inaugural reception in Bangui last week, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power gave remarks on “Crafting Peace by the Way We Live Our Lives” to honor the newly inaugurated president.
Thursday, March 3rd 2016 is World Wildlife Day. This year, the theme centers on protection of elephants in particular. Recognizing the links between wildlife trafficking and the perpetration of atrocities in central and eastern Africa, Enough is calling on U.S. Congress to pass critical anti-wildlife trafficking legislation.
On Nov. 30, 11 NGOs released a joint statement in conjunction with the Pope’s trip to the Central African Republic.
A new report from Amnesty International, "Chains of Abuse," provides unique insights a key fuel for the violence in CAR, the blood diamond trade.
"The Central African Republic cannot afford to bet on its future for the sake of the international community’s need to show progress" write Kasper Agger and Christopher Day in this African Arguments piece on "the external push toward towards elections has left local leaders, armed groups, and ordinary Central Africans behind."
The crisis in the Central African Republic has been largely absent from international media recently, except for disturbing reports about sexual abuse against civilians by U.N. peacekeepers. But violence and insecurity have not stopped and large parts of the country remain in the hands of armed groups that terrorize local populations.
Political Economy of African Wars Series “Warlord Business” is the second in a new series of in-depth, field research-driven reports on the dynamics of profit and power fueling war in the Horn, East and Central Africa. Violent kleptocracies dominate the political landscape of this region, leading to protracted conflicts marked by the commission of mass atrocities by state and non-state actors. Enough's Political Economy of African Wars series will focus on the key players in these conflicts, their motivations, how they benefit from the evolving war economies, and what policies might be most effective in changing the calculations of those orchestrating the violence–including both incentives and pressures for peace.
New Report - Warlord Business: CAR’s Violent Armed Groups and their Criminal Operations for Profit and Power
In a new Enough Project report released today, author Kasper Agger examines how the two main armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) and their multiple factions make millions of dollars in profits from illicit activities, such as the illicit sale of natural resources, taxation, extortion and the strategic use of killings and violence.
Kasper Agger, the Enough Project’s Central Africa-based field researcher and LRA expert, recently completed an in-depth regional investigation, traveling across areas where the LRA has been active, and meeting with victims, regional officials, local leaders, aid workers, and ex-soldiers who have escaped or defected from the LRA. As part of Enough’s ongoing interview series, Agger spoke with Greg Hittelman about what he saw, experienced, and learned.
In the past two weeks there has been an alarming upsurge of violence in the Central African Republic's capital city, Bangui. Combatants, civilians, children, peacekeepers and humanitarian actors have all been severely affected these recent clashes. As political tensions between the transitional government and Anti-Balaka intensify, the roots of this return to instability appear to be multidimensional.
According to a new Enough Project report, the prospects for peace in CAR are diminished without sustained international support and action in four key areas: planning for elections scheduled for next year; accountability for the perpetrators of atrocities; the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of armed combatants; and local reconciliation initiatives.
As US Embassy Reopens and New Peacekeeping Mission Launches in CAR, Breaking Report Calls for Urgent Start to 4 Key Initiatives for Peace
As the United States reopens its embassy today in the Central African Republic (CAR) after a nearly two-year diplomatic absence, and the UN launches a nearly 12,000-strong peacekeeping operation, a new report by the Enough Project “Seize the Peace” urges rapid action by the international community on four key areas to support peace in the war-torn country. Report authors Kasper Agger, Jacinth Planer, and Holly Dranginis, are available for media interviews, comment and expert analysis.
A recently-concluded three-day regional summit in the Congolese capital of Brazzaville narrowly delivered a much anticipated ceasefire agreement between Séléka and Anti-Balaka forces, the two major armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR). Such an agreement does not, however, guarantee an end to the country’s deep crisis. Disarmament of the armed groups, local dialogues, justice reform, and a clear roadmap for the remaining part of the transition are urgently needed to give the Brazzaville agreement any chance of success.
With a ceasefire recently signed in Brazzaville and a new U.N. mission preparing to deploy to the Central African Republic (CAR), civil society groups are seeking ways to promote local reconciliation processes and a role in encouraging peace more broadly across CAR. Understanding the different means by which civil society groups have been involved in promoting peace in other contexts can lend insight on civil society’s role in developing sustainable peace in CAR.
Enough Project Non-Resident Senior Fellow Christopher Day explores how in ending the hideous civil war in the Central African Republic, sanctions against leaders may help, but it is also imperative to stop the illicit trade in gems and ivory that is funding the warlords.
Following the announcement that President Obama is authorizing the imposition of sanctions against five individuals for fueling violence in the Central African Republic, Kasper Agger, field researcher at the Enough Project, issued the following statement.