6 November 2018

Central African Republic: Shifting Alliances, Foreign Interference - Mapping the Web of Armed Groups in the Central African Republic

Photo: Till Muellenmeister/IRIN
Anti Balaka fighters at Bangui (file photo).
press release

A new report by the Enough Project maps the myriad war profiteering armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR), exploring their shifting alliances and competing interests in the country's five-year war.

The report, "Splintered Warfare II: How foreign interference is fueling kleptocracy, warlordism, and an escalating violent crisis in the Central African Republic," illustrates how violent politico-criminal entrepreneurship in CAR has become a booming business, the main source of employment for disillusioned youths in rural areas, and a lucrative opportunity for violent mercenaries from neighboring countries including Chad and Sudan.

The report explores the major armed groups operating in CAR as well as their alliances, strategies, agendas, and objectives, and updates the information previously reported in the Enough Project's August 2017 mapping report on the same theme.

Click here to read the full report, including a graphic illustrating armed group alliances and maps illustrating territorial control by armed groups.

Nathalia Dukhan, report author and Central African Republic Researcher and Analyst at the Enough Project, said: "Five years after war broke out in the Central African Republic, the conflict has no end in sight. Opportunistic, ever-shifting alliances between armed groups reflect a deadly and corrupt game of thrones. The quest for power and the war of interests among a splintering array of national, regional and international war profiteers could lead to an escalation in sectarian violence, bloodier than ever before."

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Managing Director at the Enough Project and The Sentry, said: "Billions of dollars have been spent seeking stability and peace in the Central African Republic through traditional approaches to peacekeeping and diplomacy, but these efforts have failed because they have been captured by war profiteers and their allies. However, another way of seeking peace is possible, one that emphasizes the role of those in society who truly seek peace. The international community can enable this new approach through ensuring accountability for those who have benefited from conflict in CAR, and providing leverage through network sanctions and enhanced anti-money laundering measures that prevent future profiteering."

The report warns that the proliferation of the armed groups, along with the transnational trafficking of weapons and natural resources, presents high stakes for the entire central African region. The report further offers recommendations to move the country out of its current system of violence and state collapse, toward peace.

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