Announcement of an African Union-led peacekeeping mission is welcome, but a lasting solution to CAR’s political problems requires coordinated national and cross-border cooperation on governance and security

With the Central African Republic (CAR) staggering under the immense economic and humanitarian impact of ongoing insecurity, peacebuilding NGO Conciliation Resources is calling for a clear action plan and coordinated implementation by the international community, in support of local peace efforts.

As well as the vital task of ensuring civilian protection, the peacekeeping mission must create the space necessary for local civil society to engage in political dialogue with Seleka and tackle the underlying governance issues

Kennedy Tumutegyereize, East and Central Africa Programme Director, Conciliation Resources

According to the peacebuilding NGO's new briefing paper on the crisis – which highlights current challenges and peacebuilding opportunities – national, regional and international actors with an interest in the CAR crisis must ensure cooperation and coordination in order to tackle short to mid-term security concerns, as well as longer-term governance issues. 

The cross-border aspects of the conflict cannot be overlooked. CAR's military and security outlook is complex, with several other countries and their militaries already involved. With the MICOPAX presence about to change into a larger African Union-led force, these multiple interests and interventions will need to be carefully managed to avoid adding to national and regional tensions.

Kennedy Tumutegyereize, East and Central Africa Programme Director, Conciliation Resources

The security situation in Bangui and the rest of the country remains fragile, with communities living in a security and administrative vacuum. Although the worst violence and abuses by Seleka forces seem to have abated in Bangui itself, undisciplined and disgruntled former rebels still roam the capital and smaller towns at night – looting, raping and killing with impunity. This adds to the long-standing threat generated by the presence of other armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army.

The danger is that, in the face of unbelievable atrocities in the countryside, in desperation local people will take the issue into their own hands and continue the cycle of violence. CAR is awash with guns, and there's an urgent need for clear, immediate action on arms control, leading in time to the implementation of effective disarmament processes.

Caesar Poblicks, Conciliation Resources, speaking on his return from a recent fact-finding trip to CAR

The current crisis is the most recent episode in a recurrent cycle of coup d'états, mutinies, armed rebellions and increasingly dictatorial regimes, which have created a pattern in which the country is thrown into chaos on a decade-long loop. 

Ethnic and religious tensions have always been part of the undercurrent of events in the CAR. This trend has continued during Seleka's time in power, provoking fears of a sustained inter-communal conflict. To tackle this threat, we're continuing our work with religious leaders in the country, helping to increase their understanding of what drives the conflict, and supporting their efforts to build awareness and resilience among the wider community around the dangers of religious tensions.

Kennedy Tumutegyereize, East and Central Africa Programme Director, Conciliation Resources

Conciliation Resources' briefing paper on the crisis in the Central African Republic also highlights the risk that, unless electoral reform is prioritised first, a rush to elections could do unintentional harm, by heightening tensions and reviving old conflicts and rivalries at a time when community cohesion is already under strain.



Conciliation Resources is an independent organisation working with people in conflict to prevent violence and build peace. Since 1996 we’ve been assisting conflict-affected communities by providing advice, support and practical resources. In addition, we take what we learn to government decision-makers and others working to end conflict, to improve policy and practice worldwide. 

We focus our efforts on seven main conflict contexts: Colombia, East and Central Africa, Fiji, Kashmir, the Philippines, South Caucasus, and West Africa. We also share learning through the peacebuilding analysis series Accord: an international review of peace initiatives

Contacts for more info

Kennedy Tumutegyereize // 07436 102 518 // 
Director, East & Central Africa Programme

Clare Richards // 07436 102 514 //
Media & Communications Officer