Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 215, 14 January 2021

Central African Republic: France intervenes as thousands flee election-related violence in the count
Apoorva Sudhakar

In the news
On 9 January, French fighter jets flew over the Central African Republic (CAR). According to the office of the French President, the flights were flown in at the request of the CAR President and with the permission of the UN as tensions escalated amid the elections in 2020.

On 8 January, the UNHCR spokesperson said more than 30,000 people from CAR had fled to its neighbouring countries amid the election-related violence. The Democratic Republic of the Congo accounted for the highest number of people fleeing as 24,196 people had crossed over into the country, followed by Cameroon, Chad and the Republic of Congo.

Further, the spokesperson said that within CAR, 1,85,000 people retreated to the forests since 15 December 2020 to escape the violence; of this, 62000 remain "newly displaced" while the rest returned home.

Issues at large
First, a brief background on the conflict in CAR. The current instability in CAR has its roots in 2013 when Seleka forces, formed majorly by Muslim groups, staged a coup and removed the then-President François Bozizé from power in 2013. Following this, Christian forces under the banner of "anti-balaka" forces, retaliated leading to a protracted conflict. Though a peace agreement was signed between the government and rebel groups, violence has persisted, and armed groups control two-thirds of CAR.

Second, the disputed elections of 2020. In December 2020, CAR held its presidential elections; Faustin-Archange Touadera, who was elected president in 2016, won his second term. Before the elections, Bozizé formed a rebel coalition with other presidential candidates after the Constitutional Court rejected his candidacy. After Touadera was re-elected, the opposition coalition has been citing irregularities in the elections and demanded the annulment of the results.

Third, the deteriorating security conditions. According to the Election Commission, 800 of the 5,408 polling stations did not operate on the election day due to security threats. Prior to the elections, and after the polling, rebels captured several towns fuelling the CAR's already tense atmosphere. According to the UN, one-fifth of the CAR population is displaced due to the protracted conflict and half of the population is dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Fourth, the external intervention in CAR. Russia and Rwanda had deployed their troops to support the UN mission in monitoring the election process in CAR. Similarly, the Touadera's latest request for French intervention adds to increased external powers in the region.

In perspective
First, mere intervention by external powers will not stem the conflict in CAR. The scale of humanitarian loss over the years reflects the failure of the state in addressing the conflict. Further, troops' deployment by different countries did not keep the rebels from seizing towns and reigniting civilian displacement and its spillover to neighbouring countries, which have their own conflicts to address. 

Second, France's latest intervention in CAR comes amid its security operations in other African countries like Mali and Libya. Further, France has had a series of interventions in CAR since the 2013 coup. However, French operations have not yielded the results necessary to root out the violence - neither in CAR, nor in Mali or other countries. 

July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 411
Wildfires: Siberia to the US
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 409
Bosnia: 26 years after the Srebrenica Massacre
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 405
Colombia: Two months of protests
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 399
Myanmar: New UNGA resolution
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 397
Myanmar: The Aung San Suu Kyi trial begins
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 390
Burkina Faso: Another massacre in Africa
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 386
Nigeria: Another mass abduction grips Niger state
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 385
Colombia: The protests continue
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 382
Israel-Hamas ceasefire: The long road to peace
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 380
Colombia: Three weeks of protests

May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 378
Israel-Palestine: Who wants what?
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 374
Yemen: The Battle for Marib rages on
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 371
Pakistan: Meetings with Afghan leaders
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 369
Israel-Syria: Continuing Missile Strikes
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 362
Iran: Another act of
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire
February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt

January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists

November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan

September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations

August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal
January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings
December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019

November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria

August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China

August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar