Security Vacuum Threatens Central African Republic’s Political Transition

Security Vacuum Threatens Central African Republic’s Political Transition

Since late-March, when the rebel coalition Seleka took power in the Central African Republic (CAR), security has broken down in the country. United Nations Representative Margaret Vogt recently stated that CAR has entered “a state of anarchy”; in April, rebel-appointed Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye called for French and African help in restoring order. With Seleka struggling to turn military triumph into durable rule, CAR’s neighbors will likely see an increase in the circulation of refugees, fighters and weapons.

Through March, international actors sought to keep deposed President Francois Bozize in power and peacefully resolve the conflict, which had reignited in December when Seleka seized several northern towns and threatened Bangui, the capital. At talks organized by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on Jan. 11 in Libreville, Gabon, Bozize pledged to form a national unity government, allow the opposition to select a prime minister, organize legislative elections and refrain from contesting presidential elections scheduled for 2016. In late-March, however, Seleka resumed its offensive, complaining that Bozize had failed to honor the agreement.

After Seleka took Bangui, Bozize fled the country. Seleka commander Michel Djotodia immediately appointed himself transitional president.

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