Chapter 2
Foreign interference in security, politics and the economy

The chronic instability and eruptions of violence that characterise everyday life in the CAR are to a great extent influenced by external interests at play within the country’s political arena.[57] Both successive presidents and armed groups have relied on military backing from France or neighbouring countries to either stay in power or successfully launch a rebellion. In addition to official arenas, such as the Communauté économique et monétaire de l’Afrique centrale (CEMAC), and the Communauté Économique des États de l’Afrique Centrale (CEEAC), there is great diversity in cross-border, regional and international engagements in the CAR, which are affected by a number of historical factors. These include: personal ties and animosities between presidents, who may support a neighbour’s rebel militias within their own territories; political and economic relations between the former colonial power and CAR’s leadership; connections and distrust between ethnic groups across borders; and the porousness of certain national boundaries which facilitates illicit trade activities. Rough figures estimate that about 30% of the country’s diamonds and up to 95% of its gold leave the territory illegally.

Regional political interference

As scholar Roland Marchal succinctly remarked, the CAR, by virtue of the central state’s extremely weak presence outside the capital and the country’s location on the continent, is only “the sum of its neighbours’ peripheral hinterlands”.[58] Indeed, part of the regional impact on the sovereign territory of the CAR is the by-product of conflict dynamics that extend from Angola to Libya and from Nigeria to Kenya. Although these regional dynamics do not necessarily have an impact on the heart of the CAR’s political economy in Bangui, they greatly disrupt daily life in some of the country’s peripheries.[59] In other instances, neighbouring countries have exported their conflicts and combatants to the CAR, and used its hinterland for their operations. Most often, however, neighbouring states have directly intervened in the national political economy of the country.[60]


Chad is the CAR’s most powerful neighbour. Over the past five years, President Idriss Déby’s dictatorial regime, established in 1991, has stabilised, mainly due to the January 2010 peace agreement between Chad and Sudan. The contributions of the Chadian army to the UN mission in Mali and the fight against Boko Haram have improved Déby’s reputation in international circles.[61] Moreover, the support of France, as illustrated by its renewed military partnership with Chad, the important role played by Déby in the CEEAC, and the non-permanent seat occupied by Chad on the UN Security Council, have given diplomatic weight to the Chadian president.

President Déby has had an interest in keeping control over politics in the CAR, especially in the north-east of the country, where opponents could assemble and pose a threat to his regime. Prior to the 2010 peace agreement, relations between Chad and Sudan were tense and both presidents accused each other of supporting the other’s rebel groups, which used the north-east of the CAR as a transit zone while it supported some of the CAR’s rebellious factions.[62] This regional dynamic resulted in two peacekeeping missions to the north-east of the country between 2007 and 2010 (see Annex II).[63] When animosity between Chad and Sudan ended, the two presidents stopped supporting each other’s rebellions, which contributed to relative stability in the area and would ultimately enable the formation of the Séléka alliance.

President Déby has played a decisive role in much of the power dynamics that have characterised the CAR since the early 2000s. It is widely acknowledged that Chad helped Bozizé to move ahead with his rebellion and coup against Patassé in March 2003 by providing troops. During Bozizé’s first years in power, Chad firmly supported the presidency, both militarily and politically. Towards the end, however, it was frustrated with Bozizé’s inability to stabilise his power and when Bozizé replaced some of the Chadian members of his presidential guard with more members of his own Gbaya ethnic group and approached the South African president for support, Déby stopped protecting Bozizé’s presidency.[64] None of the Chadian or African Union forces tried to halt the progress of Séléka in late 2012. It had become clear that the regional leaders would not oppose regime change.

Chad subsequently reinforced its grip on some of the Séléka commanders.[65] When Séléka entered Bangui in March 2013, some, including Bozizé, accused Chad of being directly involved in attacks against his presidential protection units.[66] Shortly thereafter, in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, the CEEAC laid down the terms of the transition that would be led by Michel Djotodia, who became president. In the weeks after Anti-balaka forces entered Bangui in December 2013, it was Chad again that decided to force Djotodia out of power. This did not mean that the Chadian regime ruptured its links with the various Séléka commanders, many of whom returned to the profitable diamond and gold areas around Bambari, Ndélé and Bria. After Chadian peacekeepers opened fire on civilians killing 24 people under the flag of the African Union-led Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite africaine (MISCA) in late March 2014, the interim president announced an investigation into the events, which prompted Chad to withdraw its troops from MISCA in early April.[67]


Unlike Chad, Sudan has had a less strategic and more indirect impact on the politics and economy of the CAR. The Sudanese government often used the north-east of the CAR, especially the Vakaga prefecture, as a rear base to launch attacks against the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Sudan or the rebels in Darfur. Khartoum is also believed to have used the CAR’s hinterland for its support to the Chadian rebellion of Mahamat Nour who was preparing an attack against Déby’s regime in N’Djamena between 2005 and 2006.[68] The CAR’s UFDR rebel alliance also received military training and support from Sudan.[69] This assistance was rooted in the relationship established between Khartoum’s intelligence service and Michel Djotodia, when Djotodia was Consul in Nyala, southern Darfur, from 2005 to 2006.[70]

Since the independence of South Sudan in 2011, areas in the CAR close to the borders with Sudan have hosted several military camps of Darfurian armed groups which had to leave the newly independent country. Khartoum saw its support to Djotodia’s regime as a means of ensuring that rebel groups from Darfur would avoid using CAR territory as a safe haven. Sudan’s support to the Séléka alliance came in different forms, including logistical assistance, political support and facilitation of contacts with friendly regimes.[71] While Sudan was far from the sole supplier of military assistance to the Séléka, there seems to be a consensus among Séléka leaders that Khartoum’s support was crucial.[72] During Séléka’s brief period in power, the security and military operations of the Sudanese government and some of its proxies gained prominence in the CAR’s national political scene, but have since retreated.

Republic of the Congo

While Sudan was never deeply involved in politics, the Republic of the Congo has featured more prominently in the CAR’s political arena. Denis Sassou Nguesso, president of the Congo since 1997,[73] actively participated in the overthrow of the CAR’s President Patassé because Patassé had supported Sassou Nguesso’s opponent, President Pascal Lissouba, during the 1997 civil war in the Congo.[74] In return, Sassou Nguesso funded the regional coalition that brought Patassé down in 2003. Relations between Bozizé and Sassou Nguesso are less clear,[75] although both are known to be Freemasons, as is the Chadian president, Idriss Déby. In the current crisis, Nguesso has taken on the role of mediator, appointed by the CEEAC after the Libreville agreements of January 2013.[76] When Séléka entered Bangui in 2013, Bozizé reached out to Sassou Nguesso for help, but in vain.[77]

In his capacity as chief mediator, Sassou Nguesso managed to reach a ceasefire agreement in Brazzaville on 23 July 2014. This agreement marked the official end of hostilities between the different armed groups involved in the crisis. The reality on the ground, however, was rather different as fighting between ex-Séléka and Anti-balaka militias continued. The Séléka coalition had already been dissolved and the Anti-balaka was focused more on banditry, but Sassou Nguesso nevertheless tried to reach a final agreement by bringing Bozizé on behalf of the Anti-balaka and Djotodia on behalf of the ex-Séléka to sign a peace agreement in Nairobi in April 2015.[78] However, Bozizé was never officially leader of the Anti-balaka and Djotodia’s influence among the ex-Séléka had waned. CEEAC member states and the interim president of the CAR, Catherine Samba-Panza, criticised the process, which her interim government had not been involved in and which would grant impunity to the two main culprits in the recent crisis.[79]


Sassou Nguesso’s regional influence is strengthened by family ties. After some insistence by Sassou Nguesso, former Gabonese president Omar Bongo, who was married to Sassou Nguesso’s daughter, joined the regional coalition against Patassé.[80] After the 2008 rebellions, Omar Bongo had a role in mediating the dialogue politique inclusif. When Ali Bongo took office after the death of his father in 2009, he too continued to play a mediating role in the CAR conflicts. In January 2013, and after some insistence by Chad’s President Déby, he hosted another round of negotiations in Libreville. Ali Bongo, together with his grandfather in neighbouring Congo, served as a mediator. In addition to regional mediation, the leaders of the Republic of the Congo and Gabon have also invested in the supply of peacekeepers in the various international missions, as have Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


The CAR’s strategic location in the heart of the continent sustained Muammar Gadhafi’s interest in the country throughout his rule and provided a fertile ground for his politico-military projects in central Africa.[81] Relations between Libya and the CAR have to be understood in the context of the regional power plays between Gadhafi, the Chadian leaders Hissène Habré and later Idriss Déby, and Sudan’s Omar Al-Bashir. Gadhafi supported the CAR’s Jean-Bédel Bokassa and later Patassé in return for economic concessions and a strategic military position. In 2001, Libyan troops were deployed after an alleged assassination attempt on Patassé. One year later, in 2002, Libyan soldiers, together with the Mouvement de libération du Congo (MLC), pushed back Bozizé’s men who in turn were supported by Chadian President Idriss Déby.[82] The Libyan leader also mediated in the conflicts between Bozizé and Miskine’s rebel group, the FDPC, in 2007.

South Africa

Political relations between South Africa and the CAR have strengthened in recent years, and were particularly strong between President Jacob Zuma and former President Bozizé. In 2007, the two countries had signed a secret military agreement.[83] In the midst of the Séléka rebellion in December 2012, the then CAR president sent his son, Jean-Francis Bozizé, in his capacity as Minister of Defence, to renegotiate this agreement and ask Zuma to send troops to stop the Séléka advance on Bangui.[84] However, the 200 South African soldiers who were deployed in Bangui in January 2013 were unable to keep the Séléka from taking power.[85] Thirteen of these soldiers died during the overthrow of Bozizé, shortly after which South Africa pulled out of the country.[86] The CAR’s transitional government tried to rebuild diplomatic ties with South Africa and take relations between the countries to state level rather than based on the friendship between President Zuma and former President Bozizé.[87]

Cameroon and the DRC

Less involved in the day-to-day politics of the CAR are two other neighbours, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Nevertheless, Cameroon has given refuge both to Patassé in 2003[88] and to Bozizé ten years later after each was overthrown.[89] DRC president, Joseph Kabila, was part of the regional coalition, comprising Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Gabon, to bring Patassé down.[90] While their involvement in the CAR’s national politics may be limited, both Cameroon and the DRC have accepted thousands of refugees into their territories since the beginning of the crisis.[91] They are both important contributors to peacekeeping operations in the CAR. With their troops deployed just across their borders, they have their own political and economic interests in minimising the spill-over effects of the CAR’s instability.[92]

French military, political and economic involvement

While France’s economic interest in the CAR never really developed compared with its involvement in other former colonies such as Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, it has maintained a relatively strong military presence in the country. The CAR’s strategic importance to France initially stemmed from the Cold War and the influence of the USSR and Libya over the continent as a whole, which had to be contained and closely monitored by the West.[93] The CAR’s central location also facilitated France’s rapid response and the surge capacity of its military in other African countries.

After the end of the Cold War, keen to maintain its influence, France supported the restructuring and training of the FACA and gendarmerie and, at times, also intervened to support the incumbent regime. Well-known examples are its interventions during the mutinies of 1996, and its cooperation with Patassé’s personal security guards, which were established in Bangui after the 1997 uprising. That same year, however, the French decided to start withdrawing troops from the country and when Bozizé was launching his rebellion to dislodge Patassé they did not come to the rescue.[94] From 2006 onwards, France provided support in the area of rule of law and governance and placed large numbers of technical assistants in the administration and ministerial cabinets.[95]

Under Bozizé, the French again became omnipresent[96] and many believe that Bozizé managed to stay in power thanks to the French military. Although French soldiers did not officially engage with rebels on the ground in 2008, experts say it is likely that French Special Forces took part in limited but decisive operations.[97] The French also played an important diplomatic and military role regionally. The two international missions in the borderland between the CAR and Chad, in response to spill-over effects from the conflict in Darfur, were instigated by the French to stabilise Déby’s regime in Chad and to prevent attacks on Ndjamena from the CAR’s peripheral north-east.

Two important French companies attempted to start exploiting the CAR’s resources on an industrial scale, until they ran into trouble with the CAR government. Total, for instance, was the majority shareholder in the Société de gestion des hydrocarbures (Sogal) until Bozizé nationalised Sogal in 2007.[98] AREVA, a French – mostly state-owned – nuclear power and uranium-mining company, was granted mining rights in Mbomou’s Bakouma sub-prefecture in 2008. However, negotiations about the exact terms and conditions of the agreement caused tensions between the AREVA group and the Bozizé Government.[99] These moves affected relations between the French government and Bozizé and may have played a role in its lack or support to Bozizé when Séléka was approaching Bangui.

In Dakar in October 2012, French President François Hollande announced the end of the so-called Françafrique, suggesting that France would no longer militarily intervene in its former colonies. In reality, however, operations in Mali, the CAR and, more recently, against Boko Haram have resulted in an ever-stronger presence by the French military in Africa. Opération Sangaris, which started in December 2013, contributed to ending some of the violence in Bangui[100] and to the restoration of minimal government authority in some key peripheries, such as Bambari and Bria.[101]

Citizens have mixed feelings towards the French military operations.[102] In interviews, many said they feel a debt of gratitude towards the French soldiers for helping to pull the country back from the brink.[103] At the same time, people blame the French for not having done more to prevent the chaos, especially considering their heavy involvement in the country’s day-to-day politics. Public perception is that they could have stopped Séléka had they wanted to. There is a general feeling that France, as the former colonial power, could have done more to support the CAR and that the French came to exploit its resources rather than to develop the country.

In addition to the thin lines between diplomatic cooperation and outright political interference, there are more elusive economic and security dynamics that have an impact on the CAR’s peripheries. Foreign armed groups settle in the country’s hinterland[104] and local rebel leaders receive military support from beyond its porous borders.[105] Some of the regional actors, most importantly Chad and Sudan, developed informal ties with some of the militias in the north, which in some instances grew into full-scale rebellions. In 2006 and 2007, for example, the UFDR, supported by Sudan and Chadian ‘ex-liberators’, launched their rebellion against Bozizé, accusing him of continuing to neglect the north-east.

Since the start of the Séléka rebellion in 2012, Cameroonian authorities have been focusing on minimising the spill-over of conflict into their own territory, not always successfully. On several occasions Séléka fighters have made incursions into eastern Cameroon, killing Cameroonian soldiers and civilians.[106] FACA soldiers turned Anti-balaka also crossed into Cameroon to prepare their operations against the Séléka, as did the Front démocratique du people centrafricain (FDPC), led by the former ally of President Patassé, Abdulaye Miskine (see Box 2.1). This led the Cameroonian government to deploy a rapid intervention battalion (BIR) to the eastern part of Cameroon in December 2013. The clashes between the Anti-balaka and Séléka at its borders presented another security risk to Cameroon.[107]

Box 2.1 Abdoulaye Miskine

Miskine founded the FDPC in 2003, after Bozizé took power. Since 2001 he had been the chief of Ange-Felix Patassé’s presidential security guard, which was composed mainly of Chadians trained and armed by Libya. He fought against Bozizé’s ‘liberators’ – also Chadian mercenaries – alongside the DRC militia of Jean-Pierre Bemba. Miskine and his FDPC joined the Séléka in autumn 2012, but left it in March 2013. Subsequently, he was injured in clashes with the Séléka, lost his right arm and fled to Cameroon. He then joined up with anti-Séléka groups and even developed ties with some that favoured a return of Bozizé. In September 2013, Miskine was arrested by the Cameroonian authorities. In return for liberating 26 hostages Miskine’s men had kidnapped in protest at his arrest, he was released in November 2014.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which originated in Uganda, is a prime example of how a foreign non-state security actor can affect the everyday lives of people living at the CAR’s periphery. Since late 2008, the LRA has caused thousands of people in the east of the country to flee to Obo, the capital of Haut-Mbomou prefecture.[108] The border triangle between the CAR, the DRC and South Sudan is sparsely populated, and its proximity to Sudan, which has been supporting the LRA for decades, makes the CAR a perfect hideout for the LRA.[109] In response, the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has been stationed in eastern CAR since 2009, and since 2011 the United States (US) has been supporting the UPDF with ‘special advisers’. All three CAR presidents since 2009 – including Djotodia, despite the Ugandan army’s clashes with Séléka[110] – have formally approved the presence of the Ugandan and US armies on their soil, which operate entirely independently of Bangui. Their supplies and travel, etc., are all organised from their bases in Entebbe, Uganda. The Sudanese government is opposed to the presence of US and Ugandan armies across its borders, which has been one of its motivations in supporting not only the LRA but also the Séléka.[111]

Uganda could be interested in joining the current UN mission, MINUSCA, especially since in practice its troops are already involved in protection in the CAR (see Box 2.2).[112] In addition to its search for the LRA and its leader, Joseph Kony, the UPDF is said to be involved in a variety of business activities. For example, it has the monopoly on transport to South Sudan and is involved in trade. This makes people in the east of the CAR dependent on the Ugandan army not only for their security but also for their goods and supplies.

Box 2.2 Sharing sovereignty in ‘L’ancien Centrafrique’

“If you are travelling to Obo, you will see the old Central African Republic,” remarked a Muslim trader in Bangassou during an interview. He was referring to the fact that Obo, and Haut-Mbomou prefecture in general, has remained untouched by the crisis that hit the country in late 2012. Although the Séléka made two attempts to access the far-east of the country, it failed due to the presence of the Ugandan army (UPDF). Muslims and Christians still live peacefully together and share everyday governance of the town. Even FACA, which has been dismantled in Bangui, is still active in Obo, although 250 of its 300 troops have deserted since the Séléka took power and allowances remained unpaid. The only apparent result of Djotodia’s short stay in power has been the appointment of a new prefect.

The notion of ‘l’ancien Centrafrique’ should, however, be treated with some reservation. Since the LRA came to the CAR in 2009, people in the area have lived in fear, with little support from the government. Today, even though state authorities have a greater presence in Obo then elsewhere in the country, they do not have the means to exert effective power and deliver services. The UPDF, which has been present in eastern CAR since 2009, fulfils many of the tasks that should be carried out by the CAR government. As well as providing security, it also enables citizens to use its hospital and facilitates movement between Obo and South Sudan – although at very high prices. Since what remains of the local police and the CAR army have not received their government allowances and provisions for nearly two years, the UPDF provides fuel and food to keep them from illegally taxing civilians. ‘L’ancien Centrafrique’ may still exist in a few institutional remnants of previous and better times, but even in the old days the government left many of its everyday tasks and responsibilities to others.

Economic exploration and exploitation

Due to the weak penetration of government authorities beyond the capital, Bangui, foreign actors can establish military control over certain areas of the CAR or create tactical alliances with nationals involved in the exploitation of the country’s minerals. Businessmen from Chad, Sudan, Nigeria and Senegal are active in the diamond and gold trade – as traders, middlemen and retailers – and trade in cattle and food items. They also control certain border crossings and roads. Muslim traders from the CAR or of foreign descent play an essential role in many of these economic domains.

Rough figures estimate that about 30% of the country’s diamonds and 95% of its gold leave the territory illegally.[113] The people involved in these illicit activities originate from a great variety of places, including France, Lebanon, China, India and Cameroon.[114] Some diamonds and gold from the CAR end up in Europe and (Francophone) African capitals,[115] while some are exported to Dubai, Mumbai, Beirut or Tel Aviv.[116] Overland, they usually cross the western borders into Cameroon or via the north-east into Sudan.[117] In July 2015, the CAR’s suspension from the Kimberley Process was lifted, which means that, subject to certain conditions being met, the official export of rough diamonds from particular areas can resume.[118]

The CAR’s abundant resources such as minerals and oil have never been exploited on an industrial scale. Industrial development has always been weak, especially beyond the capital where infrastructure, such as roads and power sources, has never been developed. An even greater deterrent to foreign investors has been the country’s chronic political instability.

One attempt of industrial exploration has been aimed at the oil in Vakaga region. Although drilling started in 1979, the first operating licences were not granted until the 1990s, under Ange-Félix Patassé. These licences were later withdrawn by Bozizé and granted to others.[119] A similar process started when Djotodia became president. The long-term validity of concessions has thus been called into question. Insecurity too has been a problem. AREVA, the French uranium-mining company, had its plant in Bakouma attacked by a group of armed men, suspected to be from the FPR, in June 2012.[120] It suspended operations and has not conducted any exploration or mining in the CAR since 2012.[121] So only a few international companies have taken the risk and paid for concessions based on prospects for high returns. However, so far none of these plans have actually materialised or survived.

External influences on the country’s future

In summary, situated as it is at the continental crossroads between West African trade and security dynamics, Great Lakes instability and the power plays between the Horn of Africa, Sudan, Libya and Chad, the CAR’s political economy is to a great extent influenced by a variety of regional engagements – political, military and economic. Many of these engagements straddle the lines between official diplomatic relations, unofficial support to armed groups and other security encroachments, and informal and illicit economic activities. Various presidents and their governments only stayed in power for as long as their regional neighbours and France, the former colonial power, allowed them to. Rebellions also relied greatly on support from neighbouring countries, especially Chad and Sudan. The pool of armed young men from Chad, Sudan and the CAR itself who roam the peripheral borderlands can easily be mobilised. Unsurprisingly, CAR citizens may feel they are no longer in charge of their own destiny.

Marchal, R., ‘Aux marges du monde en Afrique Centrale’, Les études du CERI, n. 153-154, 2009; Debos, M., ‘Fluid loyalties in a regional crisis: Chadian Ex-liberators in the Central African Republic’, African Affairs, 107 (427), 2008.
Marchal, R., 2009, op.cit., p.5.
The most recent example is the insecurity in northern Nigeria and the international coalition fighting Boko Haram. With confessional dynamics underlying the last waves of violence in the CAR, rumours about the influence of Salafi Islam and jihadist fighters have spread. See for instance Observatoire Pharos., op.cit., p.40.
The regional conflict in DRC, for instance, in the 1990s that resulted Jean-Pierre Bemba’s arrival in the CAR in support of Patassé. Another example is the escalation of the conflict in Darfur in the early 2000s, which had great repercussions on the CAR by destabilising the borderlands, an influx of refugees and the establishment of peacekeeping operations. See Giroux, J., Lanz, D., Sguaitamatti, D., The Tormented Triangle: The regionalisation of conflict in Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic, Crisis States Research Centre, Working paper 47; Seibert, B., Operation EUFOR TCHAD / RCA and the European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy, Strategic Studies Institute, 2010, p.36. ; Núñez Villaverde, J., MINURCAT: Achievements, disappointments and a fragile future, Institute of Studies on Conflict and Humanitarian Action, 2010.
See Gerold, G.& Merino,M., L’effondrement de l’état centrafricain au cours de la dernière décennie : origines de la crise et quelques idées pour en sortir, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, note n.08, 22 April 2014, p.9.
Giroux., op.cit., p.7.
Berg, P., ‘A Crisis-Complex, Not Complex Crises: Conflict Dynamics in the Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic Tri-Border Area’, Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, n. 04.
See Gerold, G., op.cit., p.7.
Especially those originating close to the Chadian border and from Runga origin, e.g. Noureddine Adam, Abdoulaye Hissene and Dhaffane Moussa, see Gerold, G., op.cit., p.7.
AFP., ‘Centrafrique : Bozizé accuse le Tchad d’avoir soutenu la rébellion’, Le Point, 2 April 2013, (accessed 22 April 2015).
Jeune Afrique., ‘Centrafrique : des soldats tchadiens de la Misca quittent Bangui’, Jeune Afrique, 4 April 2014, (accessed 3 May 2015).
International Crisis Group, op.cit., Central African Republic : Anatomy of a phantom state. Africa Report n. 136. 2007.
Giroux, J., op.cit.
Weyns, Y., op.cit.
Weyns, Y., op.cit.
Weyns, Y., op.cit.
Between 1979 and 1992 he had also been president of the Republic of the Congo.
Marchal, R., 2009, op.cit.
The forestry sector helped President Bozizé to nourish his friendship with Sassou Nguesso. He accorded large concessions to logging companies controlled by relatives of the Congolese President. ‘Central African Republic – François Bozizé’,, (accessed 24 April 2015).
Nguesso was appointed by the CEEAC after peace agreements between the Séléka and Bozizé were signed in Gabon’s capital, Libreville.
Kpatindé, F., ‘Pourquoi Bozizé a-t-il été laché par ses frères ?’, Radio France Internationale, 12 April 2014, (accessed 24 March 2015).
Seyes, A., ‘Centrafrique: Denis Sassou Nguesso joue avec le feu’,, 29 January 2015, (accessed 25 March 2015).
The negotiations were held outside any official framework involved in preparing the Bangui Forum and the elections, and the agreement only just fell short of providing an amnesty to the signatories by granting them impunity for the crimes they have committed in recent years. Seyes, A., op.cit.
International Crisis Group, 2007, op.cit., Central African Republic: Anatomy of a phantom state, Africa Report n. 136, December 2007.
Someville, K. ‘France, Chad, Gaddafi and the CAR: years of meddling should not be ignored now’, African Arguments, 16 January 2014. See for an overview of the various related conflicts in the late 1990s and the role of Libya, Prunier G. ‘Rebel Movements and Proxy Warfare: Uganda, Sudan and the Congo (1986-99)’, African Affairs, 103(412), 2004.
Marchal, R., 2009, op.cit., p.14.
Le Monde., ‘Retrait des militaires sud-africains en Centrafrique’, Le Monde, 4 April 2013, (accessed 25 April 2015).
Jambot, S., ‘François Bozizé : Jacob Zuma n’a pas tenu ses promesses’, France24, 25 August 2013, (accessed 24 April 2015).
Le Monde., 4 April 2013, op.cit.
Le Monde., 4 April 2013, op.cit.
Sapa, 'SA mends relations with CAR', eNews Channel Africa, 29 April 2013, (accessed 15 September).
Alega Mbele, S., ‘Atterrissage forcé de Ange Félix Patassé à Yaoundé’,, 17 March 2003, (accessed 13 May 2015).
Polgreen, L., ‘Leader of Central African Republic fled to Cameroon, Official say’, New York Times, 25 March 2013, (accessed 16 April 2015).
Marchal, R., 2009, op.cit., pp. 11–12.
Bangré, H., ‘L’interminable exode des Centrafricains en RDC’, Le Monde, 3 February 2015, (accessed 4 May 2015).
Welz, M. & Meyer, A., ‘Empty Acronyms: Why the Central African Republic Has Many Peacekeepers, But No Peace’, Foreign Affairs, 24 July 2014, (accessed 5 May 2015).
Gourdin, P., ‘République centrafricaine : géopolitique d’un pays oublié’, 13 Octobre 2013, via (accessed 27 June 2015).
International Crisis Group, 2007, op.cit., pp. 10–15.
In parallel, France’s Development Agency (AFD) began operating in the CAR in 2006. In recent years it has spread its activities across a wide number of areas: sustainable management of forest resources, infrastructure, education, health and urban planning.
Operation Boali, which lasted from 2002 to 2013, had the objective to train and reorganise the FACA and to provide assistance to FOMUC forces. See Hyman, H., ‘Intervention en Centrafrique: exit Boali, voici Sangaris’, BFMTV, 7 December 2013, (accessed 24 April 2015).
Hansen, A., ‘The French Military in Africa’, Council on Foreign Relations, 8 February 2008, (accessed 22 April 2015).
A.A., ‘RCA : l’affaire Total embrace la Cour suprême’, Les Afriques, 3 september 2009, (accessed 27 May 2015).
Economist Intelligence Unit. CAR: Mining, Africa Business Briefing, 1 September 2010, (accessed 23 April 2015).
Welz, M., op.cit.
In early February 2015, for instance, they supported MINUSCA to dislodge the Séléka out of the strategic town of Bria, paving the way for the transitional government to re-establish itself in town. See RFI, ‘RCA : des affrontements à Bria font plusieurs morts’, Radio France Internationale, 11 February 2015, (accessed 4 May 2015).
In late April 2015, allegations were made about the sexual abuse of children in M’Poko refugee camp by French Sangaris soldiers. See Chrisafis, A. & Laville, S. ‘Hollande : no mercy over claims French soldiers abused children in CAR’, The Guardian, 30 April 2015, (accessed 8 May 2015).
AFP, ‘Central Africa’s fragile peace a year after mass killings’, Mail Online, 8 December 2014, (accessed 8 May 2015).
The Chadian rebel leader Baba Laddé, for instance, operated in the CAR between 2008 and 2012. See Weyns, Y., op.cit., p. 83.
An early example of this penetration from outside, without any connection to Bangui, was the activities of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) during the 1980s. See Lombard, L., ‘Sudan Issue Brief : A widening war around Sudan. The proliferation of armed groups in the Central African Republic’. Small arms survey, report n.5, January 2007.
Weyns, Y., op.cit.
Weyns, Y., op.cit., p.45.
For background information on the activities by the LRA, the relations with Séléka and the other armed men see the LRA crisis tracker, See here, (accessed 23 April 2015).
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Matthysen, K., op.cit., p.7.
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