By TRG Alerts Admin
The Rendon Group Snapshot Report
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.
Chaos in the Central African Republic
This week’s snapshot report focuses on chaos in the Central African Republic (CAR). The country has faced an existential crisis since its government, led by interim President Francois Bozize, was overthrown by Michel Djotodia’s rebel Seleka Muslim coalition in March 2013. One of the world’s poorest countries, the CAR is plagued with food shortages and sectarian violence. Continued clashes between government forces and religious groups has prompted the United Nations, African Union, and France to step up involvement in the conflict.
News Summary of events relating to the Central African Republic during week of 07OCT-14OCT
Sample of Twitter handles regarding the situation in the Central African Republic:
@LauraJepson: Working in CAR with International Medical Corps
@BateFelix: Dakar-based west Africa correspondent for Reuters
@fil: Photo journalist based in Nairobi
@celineSUNHCR: Aid worker in DR Congo
@ecinqmars: Evan Cinq Mars, Advocacy and research. Monitoring CAR, Guinea, and Mali.
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the situation in the Central African Republic:
Philippine Bolopion, UN Director, Human Rights Watch
“The Security Council is finally waking up to the human rights tragedy plaguing the Central African Republic.”…“Broadening the human rights mandate of the U.N. mission is a good but insufficient first step.” U.N. Backs Peace Effort for Central African Republic, New York Times, 10OCT13.
Louisa Lombard, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkley
“There’s some mistrust towards [Michel Djotodia].”…“What people knew about him was that was that he wanted some more political power for himself.” Mystery Shrouds Rise and Aims of Rebel at Helm of Central African Republic, New York Times, 13APR13.
Julius Agbor & Michael Rettig, Research Fellow, The Brookings Institution
“It is probably in anticipation of continuing socio-political upheavals in the C.A.R. that the international community, notably, the United Nations, the African Union and the ECCAS have vehemently rejected the C.A.R.’s new leadership as well as its three-year transition plan to democracy.” What Future for the Central African Republic?, Up Front, 06APR13.
Kyle Benjamin Schneps, Graduate Intern, The Council on Foreign Relations
“Seleka claims it is fighting for the formation of a unity government, the release of political prisoners, and the expulsion of foreign troops that have been used to bolster the weak government army.” The Growing Crisis in Central African Republic, Africa in Transition, 20MAR13.
Thierry Vircoulon, Central Africa Project Director, International Crisis Group
“Cameroon is very much aware of the problem posed by the insecurity in the east and is trying to contain it.” Cameroon Arrests Central African Republic Insurgent Miskine, Wall Street Journal, 20SEP13.
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the Central African Republic
1. UN Hopes for Action on Central African Republic
Date: 07 October 2013
The U.N. Security Council is hoping to adopt a resolution this week aimed at helping to restore security to the collapsing Central African Republic and demanding swift implementation of a political transition leading to free and fair elections, diplomats said Monday.
The U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations have been private, said the draft resolution expresses the council’s intention to consider options to support an African Union peacekeeping force, expected to eventually include up to 3,500 troops.
It asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to submit detailed options within 30 days of the resolution’s adoption, including the possibility of transforming the AU force into a U.N. peacekeeping force, the diplomats said.
2. Army says fighting in remote village of Central African Republic kills at least 23 people
Date: 08 October 2013
Bangui – The death toll of victims killed during renewed clashes between Muslim rebels of the Seleka coalition and Christian vigilante groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) has risen to at least 40, witnesses said on Tuesday.
The attacks took place overnight Monday into Tuesday in the villages of Gaga in Ouham district and Yaloke in neighbouring Ombella M’Poko district, roughly 200km north-west of the capital, Bangui.
“Most of those killed were civilians. They were hit by bullets of the Seleka rebels,” a resident of Yaloke told dpa on condition of anonymity.
3. AU calls for urgent int’l assistance to peace mission in CAR
Media: Xinhua (China)
Date: 09 October 2013
ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) — The African Union (AU) has made an urgent call for international assistance to facilitate the operationalization of the international support mission in Central African Republic (CAR).
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the AU Commission, made the call when meeting with Babacar Gaye, special representative of the UN secretary-general for CAR and head of the UN Integrated Office in the CAR (BINUCA), according to a statement released on Wednesday from the pan-African organization.
The chairperson made an urgent appeal to the international community to provide the necessary support to the rapid operationalization of the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (AFISM-CAR).
Continue Reading: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/africa/2013-10/10/c_132783993.htm
4. UN weighs sending peacekeeping force to Central Africa
Date: 10 October 2013
The UN Security Council said Thursday the world body should consider sending a peacekeeping force in strife-torn Central African Republic, while France said it could reinforce its military presence there.
The 15-member council voted unanimously for a resolution urging UN leader Ban Ki-moon to prepare a report in 30 days on helping a small African force in the country, where rebels overthrew the president in March.
It said the options should include transforming the African Union operation into a full UN peacekeeping force.
5. Central Africa violence kills six
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 12 October 2013
BANGUI, Central African Republic, Oct 12, 2013 (AFP) – Government forces in the Central African Republic clashed with a vigilante group which has been targeting Muslims, killing six of its members, the military said Saturday.
“Clashes broke out Friday between security forces sent from Bangui to Bomboro (south of the capital), and the ‘anti-balaka’ self-defence group,” an army official said on condition of anonymity.
The official said the fighting left six dead among the ranks of the vigilante.
6. Central Africa ‘desperate’ warns EU as French FM visits
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 13 October 2013
BANGUI, Central African Republic, Oct 13, 2013 (AFP) – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Europe’s top aid official flew into the Central African Republic on Sunday to push for more global action to prevent the deeply troubled country from imploding.
“The situation in one word: desperate. What is unique is that the entire population is impacted by the conflict,” said Europe’s humanitarian aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
The Central African Republic, one of the poorest countries on the planet with a long history of instability, has descended into anarchy since rebels overthrew president Francoise Bozize in March.
7. France to increase troops in Central African Republic
Byline: John Irish and Paul-Marin Ngoupana
Date: 13 October 2013
BANGUI (Reuters) – France will boost its troop presence in the Central African Republic by the end of the year end under a forthcoming U.N. resolution to help prevent the country from spiraling out of control, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday.
Fabius and the European Union aid chief, Kristalina Georgieva, are in the country to drum up support and international interest for a largely forgotten crisis.
The Central African Republic has descended into chaos since mostly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in March, the latest coup in the country that remains one of the world’s poorest despite resources ranging from gold to uranium.
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