21 February 2016

Central African Republic: Key Challenges Awaiting Touadéra

Photo: Faustin Archange Touadera/Page Facebook
Faustin-Archange Touadéra
analysis

The President-elect of the Central African Republic will almost be rebuilding every aspect of the country.

Faustin-Archange Touadéra who won 62.71 per cent in the second round of the presidential election in the Central African Republic, represents hope for the country that had almost fallen apart since the start of sectarian fighting in 2013. The National Elections Authority (ANE) declared Touadéra winner of the February 14, 2016 presidential runoff, beating his rival Anicet-Georges Dologuélé who scored 37.29 per cent of the votes cast.

Before the Transition Constitutional Court officially proclaims the election results, Faustin-Archange Touadéra should already be on the political drawing board, mapping out strategies on how to surmount the various challenges the country is facing.

Reconciliation

Mr Touadéra is aware of the challenges of his future government when he declared after being declared winner of the presidential poll, "These elections are important but they are not the only step out of this crisis," BBC quoted him as saying. He said, "We have to create the conditions for dialogue between the two communities. We will do everything we can so that Central Africans can live together in Central African Republic."

His major daunting challenge is therefore obtaining national reconciliation and inculcating the sense of patriotism and belonging to one fatherland in the population. Considering that the fighting between the Muslim- dominated Seleka armed group and the Christian-dominated Anti-balaka rebel group tore the country into pieces and rendered it ungovernable, reconciling the Muslims, Christians, political and other ethnic factions would be a kicker in the return to normal life in the country.

French President François Hollande while congratulating Touadéra on his election, advised him to bring together the people of the Central African Republic for reconciliation and development. Anicet-Georges Dologuélé, the loser in the spirit of peace and reconciliation accepted his defeat for the sake of peace and congratulated his rival.

Reconstituting National Army

The President-elect Touadéra will have to work in synergy with the international community to reconstitute the national army that will take over the protection of the national territory and maintain peace and security. Peace and security in the country during the crisis period have essentially been assured by the UN Peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) and the French forces of the operation "Sangaris."

The need to reconstitute the national army is expressed by the transition Defence Minister Joseph Bindoumi who said the rehabilitation of the army (FACA) was necessary. In this connection, he has called on the United Nations Security Council, to lift the arms embargo slammed on the country to last until 2017. A well constituted army will embark on disarming all armed groups and there will equally be provisions for the reintegration of former rebels into the army.

Tackling Refugees Problems

As of August 2015, the Central African Republic had 369,500 internally displaced people and also 419,000 refugees originating from the country as of November 2014. These figures from the international organization, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre are telling of the enormous task ahead of Touadéra to bring social peace and comfort to the population. Another report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicate that the past two years of the conflict in the country has left some 2.7 million people, over half the population, in dire need of assistance.

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