Despite holding the country’s first peaceful, democratic elections in 2015-2016, the Central African Republic continues to suffer from violent conflict. Tensions escalated back to crisis levels in the capital on April 8, following Operation Sukula, a United Nations peacekeeping operation to arrest armed elements in the capital’s Muslim neighborhood that reignited fears of persecution, prompting retaliatory violence and a call to action by armed factions. The situation remains tenuous as armed actors, the CAR government, and international organizations weigh their options and consider the ramifications for the larger peace process. The international community must address the root causes of conflict to bring about de-escalation and cohesion in order to prevent further violence.

event at library of congress
Photo: UN/MINUSCA - Hervé Serefio

Since gaining independence from France in 1960, CAR has suffered from chronic instability, and experienced several violent transitions of power. Efforts by the international community to halt the violence during previous crises have failed to provide a long-term, sustainable peace because they didn’t address the structural, educational and attitudinal gaps that prevent the state from responding to the needs of its citizens. With the increase in attacks over the past year, CAR has become one of the deadliest countries for aid workers in the world and attained a record 1.1 million displaced and refugees.

Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace and the United Nations Foundation for a discussion on the issues facing CAR, and how the International Community can work together to develop a strong infrastructure to support a lasting peace. Engage in the conversation on Twitter with #CPRF.

Since 1999, the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum (CPRF) has provided a monthly platform in Washington for highlighting innovative and constructive methods of conflict resolution. CPRF’s goals are to (1) provide information from a wide variety of perspectives; (2) explore possible solutions to complex conflicts; and (3) provide a secure venue for stakeholders from various disciplines to engage in cross-sector and multi-track problem-solving. The CPRF is traditionally hosted at SAIS and organized by the Conflict Management Program in conjunction with Search for Common Ground and is co-sponsored by a consortium of organizations that specialize in conflict resolution and/or public policy formulation. This event is co-hosted by the United Nations Foundation.

Speakers

Chandrima Das, Opening Remarks
Director, Peacekeeping Policy, United Nations Foundation, Opening Remarks

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Keynote Address      
Special Representative and Head of MINUSCA

Dr. Reyn Archer
Chief of Staff, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

Neal Kringel
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO), U.S. Department of State

Rudy Massamba
Program Officer for Central Africa, National Endowment for Democracy

Susan Stigant
Director of Africa Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Related Publications

Central African Republic: The Peace Effort That Went Awry

Central African Republic: The Peace Effort That Went Awry

Thursday, June 28, 2018

By: Irene Turner; Igor Acko; Rachel Sullivan

The renewed violence in CAR reflects the need for a consistent engagement by the international community to sustain a peacebuilding process in the country. Governments and international organizations too often have focused on the country sporadically, in short-term reactions to crises that offer only temporary solutions.

Peace Processes

Collaborative Design in Peacebuilding

Collaborative Design in Peacebuilding

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

By: Andrew Blum; Ruben Grangaard

Despite clear evidence of the effectiveness of individual peacebuilding efforts, the field as a whole often struggles to have a meaningful collective impact on broader conflict dynamics. This report, drawing on a pilot initiative in the Central African Republic—IMPACT-CAR—to develop a shared measurement and reporting system aimed at improving collaboration and shared learning across peacebuilding implementers, reflects on the results, successes, and challenges of the initiative to offer a road map for future initiatives focused on collective impact in the peacebuilding field.

Peace Processes

The 2015–2016 Central African Republic Elections, A Look Back

The 2015–2016 Central African Republic Elections, A Look Back

Monday, May 15, 2017

By: Elizabeth Murray

Plagued by successive coups and waves of violent conflict since its independence in 1960, the Central African Republic managed to hold its first peaceful elections in late 2015 and early 2016. Fears of widespread violence proved unfounded. This report focuses on what went right in those elections and how those conditions have not held a year later, allowing violence to return to the country.

Electoral Violence; Democracy & Governance

Q&A: Central African Republic Waiting for Peace

Q&A: Central African Republic Waiting for Peace

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

By: USIP Staff

Nine months after the Central African Republic (CAR) held free, peaceful and democratic elections for president and parliament, the country continues to struggle for stability and progress. Half of the country remains in need of humanitarian aid, and an increase in violent incidents since September threatens to destabilize any progress made to date. At the end of November, clashes between factions of the ex-Séléka, a formerly united alliance of primarily Muslim armed groups, left 85 dead, 76 injured and 11,000 newly displaced.

Human Rights; Democracy & Governance; Religion; Electoral Violence; Fragility & Resilience

View All Publications