A Strategy for Stability in the Central African Republic
01 Aug 2014
As hopes of a ceasefire between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels and the largely Christian anti-Balaka militia in the Central African Republic come and go, the International Crisis Group recently released a report looking at priorities for stability in the country, including action that combines a peace operation with economic incentives, state support and the fight against trafficking.
On 17 June 2014, the International Crisis Group published a report; ' The Central African Crisis: From Predation to Stabilisation', which recommends a stabilisation and reconstruction strategy for the country to benefit all sectors of the population.
The report emphasises that the country, gripped by conflict since December 2012, has seen particular predation by both authorities and armed groups, leading to the collapse of the state. It says that "Ending this cycle of predatory rule and moving peacefully to a state that functions and can protect its citizens requires [the Central African Republic's] international partners to prioritise, alongside security, economic revival and the fight against corruption and illegal trafficking. Only a close partnership between the government, UN and other international actors, with foreign advisers working alongside civil servants in key ministers, can address these challenges."
An effective governance system needed for all citizens
With the humanitarian situation deteriorating in the country, the report suggests that even though citizens need to be protected, it is important to boost economic activity to build an effective public governance system, which will deliver services to all citizens, both Muslim and Christian.
- The transitional government's demand for strong international support paves the way for a durable partnership between the new authorities and international actors, especially the G5 members – UN, European Union, U.S., African Union and France – and regional countries;
- This partnership should not be limited to emergency measures but should include support for state institutions, anti-trafficking and anti-corruption measures and the revival of the formal economy. The new UN mission - United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) - should broaden its mandate to help address these challenges;
- To fight state predation and improve financial public governance, CAR's transitional government and its international partners should agree on co-management of key revenue generating institutions;
- To fight illicit trafficking networks, the transitional government should investigate embezzlement by previous governments with the help of Interpol, donors and the UN. The latter should create a cell of specialists within MINUSCA to investigate gold, diamond and ivory trafficking;
- To revive the economy, the transitional government, private sector and donors should launch labour intensive projects in agriculture and public works that provide employment opportunities in particular for youths and disbanded militias.
This article summarises an external report, and is not to be taken as the view of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
Sign up to receive the Roundup
Sign up to the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics' Roundup to receive weekly updates with the latest commentary, analysis and news on the role of religion in conflict zones. Sign up here.