Frédéric Sautereau

The forgotten conflict of Central African Republic

Work done with the support of the NGO Premiere Urgence

"The populations of the Central African Republic are attacked from all sides. They have been subjected to assaults from bandits, their own army and now the Chadian army". Human Rights Watch.

For three years, hundreds of thousands of Central Africans have been displaced and have claimed refugee status due to conflicts within their country. The presence of the UN and numerous NGOs has not helped stabilize the fragile situation in this region.
Since 2006, the Central African Armed Forces and in particular, the Presidential Guard have burned 10, 000 homes in the north west region of the country. A campaign of executions and rapes committed as a response to the APRD (Armed for the Restoration of Democracy and the Republic) rebel’s presence has forced local populations to flee into the bush for safety. The APRD has never legally recognized the putsch of 2003 by François Bozizé, nor do they recognize the rigged elections held two years later which resulted in his presidency.
The north-western population endured harrowing acts as Chadian militiamen crossed the border to support to General Bozizé during his putsch. Captain Laurent Djim Woy, spokesman for the APRD insists that his organization will not lay down their arms "until a political solution can be found to stop the suffering of the Central African people." Woy accuses President Bozizé of neglecting the north west region of the country while the Chadian army attacked several border villages, burning houses, killing civilians and stealing livestock in February 2008.
The Chadian armed forces seem to support Peuls shepherds in their conflict with local Central Africa Republican farmers who protect their crops and water supply. Although consisting of only a few hundred meagrely equipped members, the APRD controls all access routes in the north west and are an armed opposition to military manoeuvres. Only the large cities remain under the control of Bangui authorities. 

December 2006 and May 2008.

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