Central African Republic

Mediapart Tribune : En finir avec l’impunité pour éviter un nouveau nettoyage ethnique en Centrafrique

This month, the United States imposed targeted sanctions against two militia commanders in the Central African Republic (CAR), Abdoulaye Hissène and Maxime Mokom, providing a glimmer of hope for the fight against impunity in the country.  Read More »

U.S. Places Sanctions on CAR Militia Commanders

Date: 
Apr 12, 2017

 

(Citations en Français, ci-dessous.)

“A strong message to armed groups in the Central African Republic,” say Experts

April 12, 2017 – Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) placed Central African Republic’s (CAR) Abdoulaye Hissène, a key ex-Séléka leader, and Maxime Mokom, a key Anti-Balaka leader, on its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List.

Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.

Nathalia Dukhan, Researcher at the Enough Project, said: “Today's decision by the United States to impose unilateral targeted sanctions against two key military commanders of armed groups, Maxime Mokom and Abdoulaye Hissène, represents an act of hope in the fight against impunity in the Central African Republic. This action should demonstrate to perpetrators of atrocities and their networks that their misdeeds will not stay unpunished. In this case, Abdoulaye Hissène and Maxime Mokom, also known as the Nairobists, have been conspiring and stoking deadly sectarian violence to defend their own political and economic interests. To help prevent further deadly violence and to disrupt the financing of conflict, these sanctions must be strongly enforced by financial institutions and the gold trade worldwide and should be reinforced by similar measures from the United Nations and European Union.”

En français : “La décision unilatérale prise aujourd'hui par les Etats-Unis d'imposer des sanctions ciblées à l'encontre de deux commanditaires des violences meurtrières en Centrafrique, Maxime Mokom et Abdoulaye Hissène, représente une note d'espoir dans la lutte contre l'impunité. Cette action doit mettre en garde les responsables d'atrocités et leurs réseaux que leurs crimes ne resteront pas impunis. Dans le cas présent, Hissène et Mokom, aussi connus sous l'appellation des "Nairobistes", instrumentalisent ensemble les violences sectaires au nom d’intérêts politiques et économiques privés. Pour contribuer à mettre fin aux violences et au financement du conflit armé, ces sanctions devraient être mises en œuvre de manière effective par les institutions financières, et notamment dans le commerce de l'or, et devraient être renforcées par des mesures similaires prises par les Nations Unies et l'Union Européenne.”

Ruben de Koning, Senior Investigative Analyst at The Sentry, said: “By announcing targeted sanctions against Maxime Mokom and Abdoulaye Hissene, the United States sends a strong message to armed groups in the Central African Republic that violent strategies to gain power are a dead end and must cease. From seemingly opposing sides of the conflict, Hissene and Mokom have in the past few years conspired to keep the war going, much for their own personal benefit. The United Nations Security Council and the European Union should follow suit and adopt similar sanctions to ensure these individuals and their networks can no longer serve as spoilers to peace. In particular, Hissene is known to travel and conduct business, including in the gold trade, in Europe and the Middle East, making action by the EU particularly important.” 

En français : “En annonçant des sanctions ciblées à l'encontre de Maxim Mokom et Abdoulaye Hissène, les Etats Unis lancent un message fort aux groupes armés en Centrafrique en les prévenant que les stratégies violentes pour accéder au pouvoir mènent à l'impasse et doivent cesser. Ces individus, qui appartiennent à deux groupes opposés ont, en réalité, conspiré ensemble ces dernières années pour perpétuer la guerre, pour leur bénéfice personnel. Le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies et l'Union Européenne devraient suivre la décision prise par les Etats Unis et adopter des sanctions similaires en vue de fragiliser encore davantage leur capacité de déstabilisation. En particulier, Hissène est connu pour ses voyages d'affaires, notamment dans le commerce de l'or, en Europe et au Moyen Orient, ce qui rend une action de l'UE d'autant plus importante.”

Hissène, a former collector of diamonds and gold, was the leader of one of the ex- Séléka rebel factions that ousted President François Bozizé in March 2013. He also served as Minister of Sports and Youth in the former President Catherine Samba-Panza’s cabinet. Hissène now leads military operations of the ex- Séléka’s most militant wing. Mokom, a former intelligence officer appointed by President Bozizé, united former army soldiers at the end of 2013 into a coordinated Anti-Balaka militia movement that ousted President Michel Djotodia. Both Hissène and Mokom also coordinated upheaval in CAR’s capital Bangui in September 2015 in a bid to undermine the electoral process.

Currently, both men command troops that were involved in a recent offensive against an ex- Séléka faction, mainly composed of the Peuhl Fulani who control parts of the resource-rich Ouaka and Basse Kotto provinces. The continuing fighting has killed hundreds, mostly civilians.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy non-profit organization, builds leverage for peace and human rights in Africa’s deadliest conflict zones by working to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough, and its investigative partner The Sentry, aims to counter armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of ivory, gold, diamonds, conflict minerals, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

Le Monde Tribune: Et si on arrêtait de recompenser les chefs des groupes armés en Centrafrique ?

« Nous avons évité des massacres de masse, permis un processus de réconciliation intercommunautaire, la reconstitution de l’Etat centrafricain (…) », déclarait le ministre français de la défense, Jean-Yves le Drian en annonçant le succès et la fin de l’opération militaire française, Sangaris, en République Centrafricaine. C’était en octobre dernier et avec ce retrait, l’opération a emporté avec elle l’attention internationale, replongeant la Centrafrique dans l’abime de l’oubli.  Read More »

New Brief - Dangerous Divisions: The Central African Republic faces the threat of secession

Today, the Enough Project published “Dangerous Divisions: The Central African Republic faces the threat of secession,” in which author Nathalia Dukhan documents how the Central African Republic (CAR) is currently undergoing a process of de facto partition.  Read More »

Central African Republic Facing Threat of Partition

Date: 
Feb 15, 2017

 

Pour la version francaise, voir ci-dessous

Leaders of the Séléka and other armed groups, seeking political and economic spoils of power, stoke sectarian violence, threaten to break apart country

A new policy brief published today by the Enough Project concludes that leaders of armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) are deliberately stoking sectarian violence and threats of a national break-up in an attempt to further personal and corrupt self- interests.

The report, “Dangerous Divisions: The Central African Republic faces the threat of secession,” highlights the immediate danger of partition, and recommends urgent steps to halt rising tensions, renewed armed conflict, and intercommunal divisions.

Nathalia Dukhanauthor of the brief and researcher at the Enough Project, said: “Far from the headlines, the people in the Central African Republic are again living through horror, as the leaders of factions of the Séléka and other armed groups deliberately stoke sectarian violence, including the perpetration of mass atrocities. Intercommunal tensions have been orchestrated by these militia leaders in order to legitimize self-serving calls for the segregation of communities that, while diverse, have historically lived in peaceful co-habitation.”

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “With the international community focused elsewhere, or resigned to believe that the current government is capable of solving the country's crisis, we see the Central African Republic veering toward increased communal violence and division.”

The analysis, based on extensive interviews and research in CAR, finds leaders of armed groups, mainly four factions of the Séléka, are orchestrating acts of violence along ethnic and religious lines in order to strengthen their negotiating positions in a battle for the spoils of power in that country. The report depicts a dangerous reinforcing cycle, in which widespread violence drives threatened civilians to seek the protection of these armed leaders. Those armed group leaders consequently exploit those demands for protection in calling for the separation of groups along those same ethnic and religious lines.

Dukhan adds: “The international community must take urgent action to help turn off the spigot of political and economic rewards for corrupt commanders of political-military movements who are currently incentivized to pursue their divisive and destabilizing activities.”

Brooks-Rubin adds: “Our analysis demonstrates that the situation is dire and requires engagement that focuses on accountability and pressures that can meaningfully impact those who are now motivated to pursue conflict to achieve their goals. In order for the billions of dollars recently committed to the Central African Republic to deliver what donors expect, real attention must be paid to these root causes and the measures that can help address them.”

Recommendations for the international community and the CAR government:

  • Expand and strengthen the implementation of financial pressures, including sanctions, that target the interests and vulnerabilities of the armed groups as well as the businesses that support them, whether through targeted asset freezes or measures that inhibit investment in ventures benefitting armed groups.
     
  • Seek accountability for those who are most responsible for the atrocities and economic crimes, while implementing a process of disarmament that ultimately aims to reintegrate the combatants and the communities in a fair and equitable way.
     
  • Stop enabling the legitimacy of armed groups that use violence, particularly against civilians, to seize power and/or wealth, and recognize that the system of violence does not necessarily reflect the aspirations of the combatants or of the populations who live in the areas controlled by armed groups.
     
  • Support initiatives that restore social cohesion, foster economic interdependence, and help communities heal.
     
  • Develop inclusive policies, particularly for Muslims, and address the urgent need to decentralize power as well as promote local democracy and local development.

Link to full report: http://eno.ug/2knOjX1

Link to the report in French: http://eno.ug/2kKdwXF 

Read more on the U.N. Panel of Experts recent findings on CAR:

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

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La Républiques Centrafricaine face à des menaces de partition

Les leaders de la Séléka et d’autres groupes armés, motivés par l’obtention d’avantages politiques et économiques, instrumentalisent les violences sectaires et menacent de diviser la Centrafrique.

Un nouvel article publié aujourd’hui par l’Enough Project révèle que les leaders des groupes armés en République Centrafricaine instrumentalisent les violences sectaires et menacent l’unité nationale pour des intérêts politiques et financiers personnels.

L’article, “Territoire Morcelé, Communautés Divisées : La République Centrafricaine face à des menaces sécessionnistes” met en lumière un danger immédiat de partition du pays et recommande des mesures urgentes pour mettre fin à l’escalade des violences, aux luttes armées et aux divisions intercommunautaires.

Nathalia Dukhan, l’auteur de l’article et chercheur à l’Enough Project, affirme que : “Loin de l’attention médiatique, les citoyens de la République Centrafricaine vivent de nouveau l’horreur. Depuis la fin de l’année 2016, les luttes fratricides entre groupes armés entrainent des massacres de grande ampleur. Ces chefs de guerre n’hésitent pas à alimenter les violences sectaires pour défendre des intérêts politiques et économiques particuliers. La partition de facto de la Centrafrique est aujourd’hui justifiée par les tensions inter-ethniques et devant le statut quo de la communauté internationale, une branche de la coalition Séléka en vient même à brandir des menaces sécessionnistes.

Brad Brooks-Rubin, directeur des campagnes de l’Enough Project, affirme que : “Avec l’attention de la communauté internationale focalisée ailleurs, ou résignée à croire que le gouvernement actuel est en mesure de résoudre la crise du pays, nous observons pourtant une recrudescence des violences et des divisions intercommunautaires en République Centrafricaine.”

L’analyse, basée sur des entretiens et une recherche réalisés en Centrafrique, révèle que les leaders des groupes armés, particulièrement les quatre factions issues de la coalition Séléka, instrumentalisent des actes de violence sur base ethnique et religieuse pour renforcer leurs positions de négociations dans une quête du pouvoir. Le rapport décrit une dynamique dangereuse dans laquelle les violences généralisées amènent les civils, exposés à des menaces, à rechercher la protection des leaders des groupes armés. Par conséquent, les leaders de groupes armés exploitent ce besoin de protection en justifiant une nécessaire séparation avec les autres groupes sur base ethnique et religieuse.

Dukhan poursuit : “La communauté internationale doit réagir et prendre des mesures urgentes qui viseraient à mettre fin à la croyance générale qu’être commandant d’un mouvement politico-militaire garantit des récompenses, des postes politiques prestigieux et l’enrichissement individuel”.

Brooks-Rubin poursuit : “Notre analyse démontre que la situation est grave et elle requiert un engagement significatif en faveur de plus de responsabilité ainsi que des mécanismes de pression qui peuvent avoir un impact significatif sur ceux qui perpétuent l’instabilité pour défendre des intérêts privés. Afin que les milliards promis à la Centrafrique par la communauté des bailleurs de fonds permettent d’aider à atteindre les objectifs souhaités, il est nécessaire d’accorder une attention véritable aux causes profondes du conflit et de mettre en œuvre des mesures qui pourraient permettre d’apporter des solutions durables.”

Recommandations à la communauté internationale et au gouvernement de RCA :

  • Etendre davantage et renforcer la mise en œuvre effective d’instruments financiers, y compris les sanctions, qui visent les intérêts et la vulnérabilité des groupes armés ainsi que les compagnies qui les soutiennent, que ce soit par le gel des avoirs ciblés ou par des mesures qui empêchent les investissements soutenant les groupes armés.
     
  • Amener les responsables des atrocités et des crimes économiques devant la justice, tout en mettant en œuvre un processus de désarmement qui vise à réintégrer les combattants et les communautés de manière juste et équitable.
     
  • Cesser d’encourager ou permettre une légitimité quelconque des leaders des groupes armés qui utilisent la violence, en particulier contre les civils, pour s'emparer du pouvoir et / ou des richesses nationales et reconnaître que le système de violence ne reflète pas nécessairement les aspirations des combattants ou des populations qui vivent dans les zones contrôlées par les groupes armés.
     
  • Soutenir les initiatives œuvrant en faveur de la cohésion sociale, d’une interdépendance économique accrue des communautés, en vue de faciliter une réconciliation.
     
  • Développer des politiques inclusives, notamment en intégrant les ethnies de confession musulmane et répondre à la nécessité urgente de décentraliser le pouvoir, de promouvoir la démocratie locale et le développement local.

Lien du rapport complet: http://eno.ug/2kKdwXF

Lien du rapport en anglais: http://eno.ug/2knOjX1

Pour en savoir plus sur les récentes enquêtes du Panel d’Experts sur la RCA :

Pour toute requête médias ou demande d’entretien, veuillez contacter : Greg Hittelman, directeur de la Communication, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

À propos de ENOUGH PROJECT

Organisme de promotion des politiques de prévention des atrocités, Enough Project cherche à mobiliser les efforts en faveur de la paix et de la justice en Afrique en s’efforçant d’appliquer des sanctions contre les auteurs et les complices de génocides et d’autres atrocités de masse. Enough lutte contre les régimes kleptocrates violents et les groupes armés portant atteinte aux droits, alimentés par la grande corruption, la criminalité et la terreur à l’échelle internationale, ainsi que le pillage et le trafic de minéraux, d’ivoire, de diamants et d’autres ressources naturelles. Enough mène des enquêtes de terrain dans les zones de conflits, élabore des recommandations politiques en faveur desquelles il plaide, soutient des mouvements sociaux dans les pays touchés par des conflits et organise des campagnes publiques. Pour en savoir plus et nous rejoindre, rendez-vous sur www.EnoughProject.org.

Dangerous Divisions: The Central African Republic faces the threat of secession

The Central African Republic (CAR), a country that has seen more than four years of deep political crisis and unprecedented violence against civilians, is undergoing a process of de facto partition. In February 2014, then-U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the international community that CAR was at risk of splitting apart, stating that, “[T]he situation continues to worsen. Both Muslims and Christians have been murdered and forced to flee their homes. The sectarian brutality is changing the country’s demography. The de facto partition of the CAR is a distinct risk.” Despite his warning, CAR did not escape this fate. In 2017, more than 14 armed groups compete for the control of the territory and its natural resource wealth. 

UN Report Confirms Prevalence of War Economy in Central African Republic

MINUSCA peacekeepers in PK5, Bangui. May 2015.

In its final report for 2016 released in December, the U.N. Security Council’s Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic (CAR) confirmed that the trafficking of arms and natural resources continues to be central in the perpetuation of violence in the country.  Read More »

UN Report Reaffirms Alarming Security Situation in Central African Republic

Seized ammunition of ex-Séléka rebels in Bria. February 2015.

The U.N. Security Council’s Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic (CAR) released its final report for 2016 in December. The 186-page report documents a sharp deterioration in the security situation and a deepening crisis in CAR since August 2016. The country continues to be ruled by a multitude of criminal gangs that fiercely compete for control of economic resources.  Read More »

EU Hosts Brussels Donor Conference on Central African Republic

Date: 
Nov 16, 2016

 

As international community gathers this Thursday, Enough Project urges donors to prioritize fight against illicit financial flows and ending impunity for those who perpetuate violence and steal country’s wealth

Washington, DC: Tomorrow, the European Union in partnership with the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) will host the Brussels Conference. At the Conference, representatives of the international community will meet to discuss how donors can provide support to CAR and the government of President Faustin Archange Touadéra. 

Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The Brussels donor conference has an opportunity to change the dynamics of conflict and corruption in CAR, or to perpetuate the status quo while providing humanitarian relief. This is the fifth donor conference in ten years. In order for this effort to be different and achieve lasting results, the international community must balance its attention to the immediate needs of the people with the long-term goals of enabling good governance, rooting out corruption, and eliminating the incentives for armed groups to continue fighting instead of pursuing peace.”

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “Among many daunting priorities to discuss in Brussels, donors must elevate accountability for serious crimes. Plans for a Special Criminal Court are emerging as a bright spot in CAR's justice landscape. This is an area where international support is sorely needed to support the demands of civil society, who want and deserve to see prosecutions for gross human rights violations and financial crimes like trafficking and money-laundering. The discussions in Brussels, if bold and pragmatic, could lead to new justice models for the entire region.”

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: " In CAR, the system of violent kleptocracy has been at the heart of a state of permanent war. In this system, competing networks of actors within the government and armed groups, enabled by foreign powers and the business community, are engaged in armed conflict and corruption to protect personal interests. Breaking with a long history of violence means that the international community must change its strategy by ending rampant impunity and fighting against illicit financial flows.”

Read Brooks-Rubin’s op-ed on the conference, published this week in Jeune Afriqueop-ed in French and English translation.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

UN Investigative Report Alleges that an Oil Company Finances Criminal Enterprise in the Central African Republic

The UN Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic (the Panel) presented evidence in their recent investigative report of a financial deal between a company called FIT Protection (FIT-P) and an armed group, an ex-Séléka faction known as the Mouvement Patriotique pour la Centrafrique (MPC) founded in 2014 by Mahamed Bahar, former intelligence chief during the Seleka regime, and Alkatim Mahamat, a notorious Chadian warlord.  Read More »

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