The Rendon Group Snapshot – 28 November 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on December 5, 2016

The Rendon Group

(28NOV16)

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

Ethnic Tensions and Deadly Violence in Central African Republic

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UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, where ethnic tensions have left 85 people dead. Photograph: Pacome Pabamdji/AFP/Getty Images (Guardian)

This week’s snapshot focuses on the recent violence in the Central African Republic (CAR). The CAR descended into sectarian violence following the ouster of former president Francois Bozize in 2013 by Muslim militias in the predominantly Christian country. Despite successful elections earlier this year, attacks have increased in the wake of France withdrawing all 2,500 of its peacekeeping troops. The UN’s mission has been plagued with allegations that peacekeeping forces, mostly from Burundi and Gabon, sexually assaulted over 100 young boys, young girls and women, even leading to the full expulsion of the peacekeeping force from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for misconduct. Recent clashes took place in the town of Bria, about 600 km (375 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui on 21NOV16 and pitted the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic (FPRC) against the Union for Central African People (UPC). Both groups were part of the Seleka, a mainly Muslim coalition that toppled Francois Bozize. The clashes left 85 people dead. The United Nations has also singled out militia fighters in Central African Republic for hunting down and massacring members of the Fulani ethnic group. The FPRC have been targeting the ethnic group in Bria, carrying out house-to-house searches, entering hospitals, killing, looting and abducting residents. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic called for an immediate end to violence in response to the deaths and thousands of displacements.

News summary of events during the week of 21NOV16 – 28NOV16

  • 21NOV: Aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) raised the alarm over the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), saying despite the country’s successful presidential elections six months ago, the situation there remains dire. (eNCA)
  • 22NOV: The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic called for an immediate end to violence after the clashes that broke out between armed elements of the Front populaire pour la renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC) and the Union pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC) in Bria and stepped up patrols in the area.  (United Nations)
  • 22NOV: The UN peacekeeping force in Central African Republic said one of its bases had come under fire during clashes between rival groups, prompting its troops to respond. (AFP)
  • 23NOV: Two days of fighting between armed groups in Central African Republic left 16 people dead, including civilians. (Reuters)
  • 24NOV: The UN peacekeeping mission MINCUSA said 10,000 have fled their homes after clashes in the town of Bria. (Guardian)
  • 25NOV: UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng reported that militia fighters hunted and massacred members of the Fulani ethnic group during violence that killed 85 civilians. (Reuters)
  • 25NOV: UN Special Adviser Dieng explained that as a result of violent clashes between the warring factions, civilians are being targeted based on their ethnicity or religion. (Sputnik)
  • 27NOV: Communications Minister Charles Paul Lemasset Mandjia said clashes between rival armed groups have killed at least 85 people and displaced 11,000 others. (AP)
  • 28NOV: United Nations incoming Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he wants UN peacekeepers to be better trained and more respectful of human rights, following pressure on the organization to address a series of sexual abuse allegations in the Central African Republic and elsewhere. (AP)
  • 28NOV:  UN humanitarian coordinator for Central African Republic Fabrizio Hochschild said that nearly half of the population in the Central African Republic – more than two million people – need humanitarian aid despite progress in stabilising the country since it plunged into chaos in 2013. (Reuters)

Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about violence in the Central African Republic

  • @ecinqmarsEvan Cinq-Mars, Policy Advisor,  Center for Civilians in Conflict
  • @perrinevPerrine Vaillant, Associate Director, Human Rights Watch
  • @LMushikiwaboLouise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation, Government of Rwanda
  • @LewisMudgeLewis Mudge, Researcher, Human Rights Watch – Africa Division
  • @Ekokess Ekomo-S. Martine K., Student, Young African Leader 2014

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the violence in the Central African Republic

Borrie la Grange, Spokesperson, Doctors Without Borders

“It’s hard to work in CAR. Security in the country is definitely not stable. The health system is not functioning and donors have started to disengage.”

  • “Central African Republic: ‘A troubling situation’ says MSF”, eNCA, 21NOV16

Kasper Agger, Field Researcher, Enough Project

“Although many Christian and Muslim communities lived as friends and neighbours before the war, the conflict became coded in religious terms and vicious inter-communal violence between Christian and Muslim groups broke out.”

  • “A Murder Unleashes Chaos In The Central African Republic,” Huffington Post, 30SEP15

Christopher Day, Senior Fellow, Enough Project

“Over time, the machinery of regime politics in Bangui has changed little, only occupied by different sets of elite operators that view access to the state as a way to attain privilege and accumulate personal wealth. The current Transitional Government has slotted nicely into this pattern, with President Samba-Panza stocking her government with close associates, recycled elites, and members with ties to the Séléka and anti-Balaka.”

  • “A Murder Unleashes Chaos In The Central African Republic,” Huffington Post, 30SEP15

Father Patern Arland, Leader, Catholic Carmelite mission in Bangui

“We want the country to restart after this long period of war and crisis,” “The main objective now is to achieve peace so that people can start again to move around the country without fear.”

 

  • “High hopes in CAR for Brussels donor pledges,”DPA, 17NOV16

 

Augustin Majiku, Field Agent, Doctors Without Borders

“The government is not doing anything. The people on the ground are suffering. I do not know what they mean when they say the situation is getting better. The country needs urgent assistance.”

  • “Central African Republic: MSF Concerned Over ‘Worsening’ Situation in the Country,” News24Wire, 19NOV16

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the unrest in Central African Republic

  1. UN base ‘targeted’ in Central Africa clashes

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 22 November 2016

Bangui, Central African Republic – The UN peacekeeping force in Central African Republic (CAR) said Tuesday one of its bases had come under fire during clashes between rival groups, prompting its troops to respond.

The violence erupted on Monday between rival factions of the so-called former Seleka Muslim rebel group in the town of Bria, 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Bangui, MINUSCA said in a statement.

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  1. UN mission in Central African Republic steps up patrols after rival armed groups clash in Bria

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 22 November 2016

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — The UN Integrated Multifaceted Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) stepped up patrols and called for an immediate end to violence after the clashes that broke out on Monday in Bria town, a press release said here Tuesday.

According to the press release, the clashes broke out between armed elements of the Front populaire pour la renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC) and the Union pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC).

About 5,000 displaced civilians as well as local authorities and humanitarian organizations have taken refuge in MINUSCA’s premises in the town, and the UN mission said in the press release that the armed groups will be held accountable for the violence, particularly against civilian populations.

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  1. Fighting in Central African Republic kills 16 people

Media: Reuters

Byline: Crispin Dembassa-Kette

Date: 23 November 2016

Two days of fighting between armed groups in Central African Republic has left 16 people dead including civilians while 10,000 have fled their homes, the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSCA said on Wednesday.

The clashes took place in the town of Bria, about 600 km (375 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui, and pitted the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic against the Union for Central African People.

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  1. Rebels targeted ethnic Fulanis in Central African Republic town

Media: Reuters

Byline: Joe Bavier

Date: 27 November 2016

The United Nations’ top genocide official said on Friday he had reports that militia fighters in Central African Republic hunted down and massacred members of the Fulani ethnic group during violence that killed 85 civilians this week.

Clashes erupted on Monday in Bria, a town about 600 km (370 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui, between rival rebel groups the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic (FPRC) and the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC).

In a statement, Adama Dieng, the U.N.’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide, said the FPRC reportedly singled out ethnic Fulani in the town, carrying out house-to-house searches, killing, looting and abducting residents.

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  1. Official: 85 dead in Central African Republic rebel fighting

Media: Associated Press

Byline: N/A

Date: 27 November 2016

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — The communications minister of Central African Republic says clashes between rival armed groups have killed at least 85 people and displaced 11,000 others.

Charles Paul Lemasset Mandjia said Sunday that the deadly fighting since Nov. 21 has also injured some 76 people.

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