Can the Central African Republic Escape its Violent Past?

04-06-2013

The security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) remains volatile two months after the rebel Séléka coalition seized the capital and forced the country's former president into exile. Rampant violations of humanitarian and human rights law exacerbate the suffering of the population. The Séléka takeover ushered in a total collapse of the rule of law and fundamental institutions such as the justice system, law enforcement apparatus, public administration and social services. Under the tutelage of the Economic Community of Central African States, a National Transitional Council was set up in April to serve as a governing body and constituent assembly for the next 18 months. French and regional forces are on the ground, and the UN is monitoring the developments through its Integrated Peace Building Office in the Central African Republic. Yet the deepening crisis is likely to require stronger and more concerted efforts — both domestic and international — to ensure that the country's tragic history of violence does not repeat itself.

The security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) remains volatile two months after the rebel Séléka coalition seized the capital and forced the country's former president into exile. Rampant violations of humanitarian and human rights law exacerbate the suffering of the population. The Séléka takeover ushered in a total collapse of the rule of law and fundamental institutions such as the justice system, law enforcement apparatus, public administration and social services. Under the tutelage of the Economic Community of Central African States, a National Transitional Council was set up in April to serve as a governing body and constituent assembly for the next 18 months. French and regional forces are on the ground, and the UN is monitoring the developments through its Integrated Peace Building Office in the Central African Republic. Yet the deepening crisis is likely to require stronger and more concerted efforts — both domestic and international — to ensure that the country's tragic history of violence does not repeat itself.