Regaining State Control in Central African Republic

The civil war in the Central African Republic commenced when militia groups in the northeast formed a coalition in 2012 to topple President François Bozizé. Their declared interest was the defence of a marginalised population's demand for development.

However, the more likely trigger for the rebellion was Bozizé's attempt to take control of the armed groups' lucrative mining business. Only an emphasis on civilian aspects of rule - such as providing education, health and building infrastructure - can stop rebellions from successfully challenging the state's rule in the future.

Given the history of the Central African Republic with foreign armed groups and frequent coup d'états within a small elite circle, it is unsurprising that citizens are doubtful of the intentions of current players to re-establish state authority.

Gaining lasting public support for the institutions being put in place - a stronger national army and a larger public administration - will mean tackling issues of belonging, of status and of public service. Simple military reconquest will not create lasting stability writes Tim Glawion for The Conversation.

InFocus

MINUSCA police in Bangui (file photo).

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