The Question of the Central African Republic
The history of the Central African Republic is a troubled and bloody one leading to instability and conflict in the country today. It is one of the least-developed countries in the world although it possesses considerable agricultural, water and mineral resources. The unstable political situation has prevented the economy from developing, meaning these resources are not being used efficiently. In the current political situation it is described as a failed state in permanent crisis. The UN has warned that risk of genocide is high and has described ethnic-religious cleansing targeting Muslims as a big concern.
In the Central African Republic, French and African Union soldiers—backed by American airlifts and support—are working to stem violence and create space for dialogue, reconciliation and swift progress to transitional elections. However, the violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) is still ongoing, though leadership has changed, and both the international and national communities have intervened. The brutality of the former ruling Séléka forces has been replaced by the sectarian violence of anti-balaka militias.
The political situation is still very unstable in the CAR. The international community agreed to a French intervention last year because of the urgency of the humanitarian situation. Troops were needed rapidly to protect civilians, stop atrocities and restore humanitarian access. However, peace and security have not yet been restored in the country in spite of a change of government. Targeted killings of Muslims by Christian anti-balaka militias are occurring daily, leading to the displacement of entire communities fleeing the violence. But even refugees are being stopped and killed. The inability of peacekeepers to protect all civilians, especially after disarming them, has led to a very fragile political situation. Muslims are attempting to escape the violence by moving to Chad and Cameroon, and there is a serious risk of a de facto loss of territorial integrity in the areas neighbouring these countries.
The Security Council has passed several resolutions on the CAR but the political instability has yet to be revolved. Issues to be debated include the role of French and/or UN Peacekeepers in the conflict, the protection of civilians and the prevention of an escalation of the religious violence.
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