Central African Republic [fr]
France welcomes the signing of the peace agreement between the Central African Government and the 14 armed groups in Bangui on 6 February after two weeks of negotiations in Khartoum within the framework of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation, under the auspices of the African Union and with the support of the United Nations. This Agreement is an important step towards lasting peace in the Central African Republic and the restoration of State authority throughout the Central African Republic. In other words, this agreement can and must mark a new beginning for the Central African Republic.”
François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the UN – 21 February 2019
The Central African Republic has experienced a major political and security crisis since December 2012. The power takeover in Bangui by the coalition of rebel groups "Seléka" in March 2013 and the conflicts between them and the "anti-Balaka" movement have led to a serious deterioration in the country’s political, security and humanitarian situation, as well as numerous human rights violations. This situation has also led to numerous population displacements (refugees and internally displaced persons) and threatened to destabilize the entire subregion.
- Seizure of weapons from ex-Seleka fighters in support of the restoration of the authority of the Central African State.
- UN Photos
From the outset of the crisis, the international community, in particular the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and France, has been working to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict and help stabilize the country. In this context the African Union deployed, in December 2013, the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), which was followed in September 2014 by the United Nations peacekeeping operation, MINUSCA, with the support of the French operation Sangaris. These operations restored stability in the country.
In parallel, a transition period began in January 2014 following the resignation of Seléka coalition leader Michel Djotodia. The transition was completed with the election of Faustin-Archange Touadéra as President of the Republic in February 2016. Since taking office, President Touadéra, with MINUSCA’s support, continued the political process already under way, with disarmament of ex-combatants, restoration of security, restoration of the State and national reconciliation as priorities.
However, armed groups continued to control a large part of the Central African territory and continued violence, resulting in the worsening of the humanitarian situation. To address the situation, a joint roadmap for peace and reconciliation was signed on 17 July 2017 in Libreville (Gabon) between the Central African authorities and the African Union, as well as by Gabon, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Chad, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); and the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR, led by the African Union, was launched in order to reach a comprehensive political agreement between the Central African Government and armed groups.
After more than 18 months of talks, peace talks were launched in Khartoum, Sudan, in January 2019, as part of the African Peace Initiative, under the African Union auspicesand with the support of the United Nations. These negotiations led on 6 February 2019 to the signing of a peace agreement between the Central African Government and the 14 armed groups that signed the Libreville Roadmap (17 July 2017).. This agreement, the eighth signed since 2012, provides, as requested by the armed groups, for the establishment of an inclusive government, decentralization measures and civil service reform. The armed groups commit themselves to an immediate cessation of violence, to disband, to facilitate the redeployment of the State throughout the country and to participate in the demobilization, disarmament, reintegration and repatriation process. Measures for the economic and social reintegration of ex-combatants will be adopted. The agreement rejects the idea of impunity and establishes a transitional justice mechanism with the creation of a Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission.
In December 2013, the Security Council adopted a resolution authorizing the deployment of the African Union-led International Mission in Support of the Central African Republic (MISCA) (resolution 2127 (2013)) and the French operation Sangaris, in order to curb the escalation of violence.
This force was replaced in September 2014 by the United Nations Integrated Multidimensional Mission, MINUSCA, following the adoption of Security Council resolution 2149 (2014) at France’s initiative.
- Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix visiting UNSCA troops in the Central African Republic.
- Crédits: UN Photos
MINUSCA’s initial mandate was to protect population and support the political process, especially reconciliation efforts, demobilization of armed groups , reform of the security forces and fight against impunity. With the political process being pursued by President Touadéra since his election, MINUSCA has refocused its robust mandate on the strategic aim of reducing the presence of armed groups and the threat they represent in CAR. Following the increase in the troop ceiling of 900 military personnel authorized by Security Council resolution 2387 (2018), nearly 13,600 uniformed personnel (11,160 military and 2,039 police) are currently deployed as part of MINUSCA.
On 13 December 2018, the Security Council adopted resolution 2448 (2019) [faire un lien vers la resolution] renewing MINUSCA mandate for one year, despite Russia and China abstentions. This resolution maintains the number of peacekeepers, enables MINUSCA to continue to act in an active and robust manner to protect civilians from the threat of armed groups, strengthens MINUSCA’s role in supporting the political process, and authorizes the Mission to provide additional support, including logistical support, to the Central African armed forces, to enable them to gradually redeploy themselves on the Central African territory in to ensure the safety of local populations.
With the recent upsurge in attacks in the country, France is calling for the strengthening of MINUSCA’s capacities to give it the means it needs to respond and support the political process.
The European Union has also supported the stabilization of CAR and the restructuring of the Central African armed forces, first with the deployment of the European military mission EUFOR-RCA in April 2014 to support the security of the capital Bangui (this mission ended in March 2015) and, since July 2016, with the launch of the EUTM-RCA advisory and operational training mission. At France’s request, the UE Foreign Affairs Council of 15 October 2018 approved the temporary establishment of a civilian component to the EUTM-RCA mission (known as "EUTM +") of some fifteen personnel.
France continues to support MINUSCA capacity-building so that it can have all the necessary means to contribute to the stabilization of CAR and support the political process.
From the outset of the crisis, France has been committed, both nationally and in the Security Council, to supporting a return to stability and the rule of law in the Central African Republic.
In the Security Council, where it serves as penholder, France is at the initiative of the various resolutions on the situation in CAR. As a result, MINUSCA mandate has been regularly renewed by the Security Council (resolution 2448 (2018)): Faire un lien vers la réso as is the sanctions regime for CAR (resolution 2339 (2017)))): Faire un lien vers la réso in order to adapt them to the new situation in the country.
On the national level, France initially deployed Operation Sangaris (early December 2013) at the Central African authorities request to protect civilians from the cycle of very serious violence, and in support of the actions carried out by MISCA and then by MINUSCA. This operation was carried out within the mandate of Security Council resolution 2127 (2013) and ended on 31 October 2016. France then joined the European mission EUTM-RCA and MINUSCA by incorporating many French personnel. It also contributes to providing material support to MINUSCA.
Finally, France provides financial support to CAR, as it did at the Donors’ Conference held in Brussels in November 2016, during which it announced an €85 million aid package for the period 2017-2019.