Central African Republic is a country located in Africa
as defined on
Abbreviationfinder. The year was marked by violence
and chaos. By the New Year, the rebel coalition Séléka had
come close to the capital Bangui, threatening to take it to
end President François Bozizé's ten-year rule. Since
regional forces threatened to stop the rebels, and Bozizé
offered them a seat in a unity government, Séléka agreed to
participate in peace talks with the government. The Economic
Community of Central African States (ECCAS) was a mediator.
On January 11, the parties entered into a cease-fire
agreement. According to the agreement, Bozizé would be
allowed to end his term until the planned elections in 2016
against his opponents being appointed prime minister and
representatives from the political opposition and the rebels
to be included in the government. Bozizé also agreed to
release all political prisoners and to withdraw foreign
troops from the country. However, the UN peacekeeping force
BINUCA remained and its mandate was extended to January
2014. The rebels were not forced to retreat but would be
included in the army. The next day, Bozizé dismissed the
then prime minister to give way to the man of the
opposition, who became the opposition lawyer Nicolas
Tiangaye. In early February, Bozizé appointed a new
government led by Prime Minister Tiangaye. Séléka and the
opposition were given several ministerial posts.
Despite the peace settlement, Séléka took up arms again
and took the city of Bangassou in mid-March. The rebels
accused Bozizé of not respecting the peace settlement and of
running a parallel administration alongside the unity
government. Later that month, Séléka took control of the
capital Bangui and overthrew Bozizé, who fled the country.
Rebel leader Michel Djotodia appointed himself new
president. He repealed the constitution and dissolved
Parliament. The coup was condemned by the outside world.
Djotodia appointed a new government on March 31, saying he
would govern the country through decrees until free
elections were held within three years. Prime Minister
Nicolas Tiangaye had to retain his post by a transitional
council. In April, Djotodia was elected interim president.
Many Central Africans, especially children, were affected
by the fighting and the UN expressed concern about the
humanitarian situation in the country. According to the Red
Cross, at least 80 people died and over 100 were injured in
connection with Séléka's takeover of power. Thirteen of the
dead were South African soldiers and South Africa then
withdrew its forces from the Central African Republic.
Surviving South African soldiers told the media that after
the fighting, they realized that several of the Central
African soldiers they killed in the fighting were children.
In mid-April, at least 17 people died when new fighting
broke out in Bangui between Séléka and supporters of the
deposed President Bozizé. A few days later, the neighboring
countries of the Central African Republic agreed to send an
additional 2,000 soldiers to the country because it was
estimated that the peacekeeping force of 500 men already
there was insufficient. ECCAS also decided to accept
Djotodia as the country's leader, but only as interim
president pending a new election. At the same time, Bozizé
accused Chad of having helped the rebels overthrow him.
The fighting and unrest continued in the capital during
April and May. Human rights activists reported that
residents lived in fear of robbery and looting of homes and
businesses that Séléka rebels were accused of. Many fled to
neighboring countries such as Congo-Kinshasa.
In July, the aid organization Doctors Without Borders
(MSF) raised an alarm that the health sector has collapsed
after the coup in March and that the country was facing a
humanitarian disaster. According to MSF, most aid
organizations had withdrawn to the capital due to lack of
security. Many of them had been robbed and looted. MSF
stated that malnutrition was widespread and that the number
of malaria infected had increased significantly compared to
the previous year.
In August, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon warned that
law and order had collapsed and chaos prevailed in the
Central African Republic. According to a report to the UN
Security Council, Séléka and other unidentified groups had
committed several serious abuses, especially in rural areas.
These included rape on women and children, torture, killing,
arbitrary arrests and recruitment of child soldiers. About
1.6 million people were in urgent need of protection, health
care, food and water, according to Ban Ki Moon. He urged the
Security Council to impose sanctions or to appoint an expert
group to ensure that the guilty are punished. The rescue
organization Save the Children warned that another 100,000
children in the country were at risk of being sexually
exploited and recruited by armed groups.
On August 18, Djotodia formally swore the presidency and
promised to conduct elections within 19 months. At the end
of the month, new fighting broke out in Bangui with several
dead as a result. According to UN officials on the scene,
Séléka tried to disarm civilians in residential areas near
the international airport in the capital, which was said to
be Bozizé supporters and which had the arms of the previous
government. Over 5,000 people, many of them women and
children, fled temporarily to the airport.
In mid-September, after allegations that Séléka rebels
created havoc through looting and violent crimes, Djotodia
dissolved Séléka and said that those who act in the name of
the movement should be punished. Some of the rebels were
placed in the national army. The same month, the human
rights organization Human Rights Watch released a report
stating that Séléka has killed civilians and burnt down
homes, schools and churches in over 30 villages between
March and June 2013. Violence against the villages continued
even after Séléka's dissolution, as did the fighting between
rebels and supporters. to the former president who in some
places formed the national guard.
At the end of October, there were about 400,000
internally displaced people in the country, half of them
children, UNHCR reported. In addition, close to 70,000
people had moved to neighboring countries. According to the
United Nations Office for Humanitarian Aid, OCHA, more than
700 people had been killed since the coup in March. The UN
warned that the situation in the country was at risk of
genocide because much of the violence appeared to have
religious causes. According to reports, the mostly Muslim
rebels from Séléka are attacking Christianity, who are the
majority in the country.
At the end of October, the UN Security Council decided to
send 250 troops to Bangui. They would support the MICSA
peacekeeping force, which had 1,100 soldiers in place and
which, according to the plans of the African Union, would be
expanded to 3,600 men. France would also send more soldiers.