Central African Republic Military

Defense

The defense, which is based on selective military duty with an initial 24-month service, comprises (2009) 3,100 men and is organized into five battalions and nine smaller patrol boats. Semi-military security forces amount to 2,300 men. The material is semi-modern and of mixed origin. Defense costs fell from 1.4% to 1.0% of GDP in 1985-2007.

The conflict in Darfur, which erupted in 2003, has greatly affected the security policy situation both in the country and in neighboring Chad. In 2008, the EU based 3,700 men (EUFOR Chad/RCA) and the UN 350 men (MINURCAT) in the Central African Republic and Chad, mainly to protect the civilian population. The force was expanded in 2009 to 6,000 men and to a peacekeeping mission. In both countries, there are peacekeeping forces and observers from 46 countries, among others. Austria, France, Ireland, Poland, Russian Federation and Sweden. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that CAF stands for Central African Republic.

Central African Republic Army

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The origin of Seleka

When François Bozizé took power in 2003, some of the main rebel forces fighting the central government of Bangui were concentrated in the north of the country. Although in the past these factions were notable for a lack of coordination in the regime’s combat action, from 2007 these groups joined in the coalition Séléka (in Sango, the local language, means ‘alliance’), which included several movements between which the Ufdr (Union des Forces Démocratiques pour le Rassemblement), the Cpjp (Convention des Patriotes pour la Justice et la Paix), Fdpc (Front Démocratique du Peuple Centrafricain) and the Cpsk(Convention Patriotique pour la Sauvegarde du Kodro). The coalition was formed in response to Bozizé’s failure to comply with the 2007 peace accords, mediated by Libya and signed by rebels and the government. The agreement provided for a renunciation of arms and the complete demilitarization of the insurgent factions: these in exchange would receive a cash compensation and the promise of their reintegration into national public life. Over time, the original Séléka alliance underwent some transformations. First of all, the structural transformation from a coalition to an aggregate of rebel groups, which however kept the overthrow of the Bozizé regime as its final objective; secondly, the expansion of the rebel front to include new groups with ideological connotations that are increasingly searchable in armed Islam. In fact, when the Séléka began the offensive against the Bozizé government between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, infiltration of Chadian and Sudanese fighters swelled the ranks of the movement, giving the group an Islamist and jihadist connotation, which it is reflected in the violence perpetrated against Christians. The Séléka movement thus acquired a regional rather than local projection, becoming a federation of armed groups with international connections, characterized by a fragile and dispersed chain of command and little recognized by Central African citizens, who still doubt the same origin of the fighters. giving the group an Islamist and jihadist connotation, which was reflected in the violence perpetrated against Christians. The Séléka movement thus acquired a regional rather than local projection, becoming a federation of armed groups with international connections, characterized by a fragile and dispersed chain of command and little recognized by Central African citizens, who still doubt the same origin of the fighters. giving the group an Islamist and jihadist connotation, which was reflected in the violence perpetrated against Christians. The Séléka movement thus acquired a regional rather than local projection, becoming a federation of armed groups with international connections, characterized by a fragile and dispersed chain of command and little recognized by Central African citizens, who still doubt the same origin of the fighters.

A ‘new’ case for the Kimberley Process in the Central African Republic

Sixteen years after the creation of the international system designed to combat the illegal trade in diamonds, the so-called ‘Kimberley Process’, a new case of ‘ blood diamond ‘ has been found in the Central African Republic (RC). As denounced in a September 2015 report by Amnesty International, leading local and foreign businessmen, as well as warlords of the R ca, have made huge multi-million dollar profits from the illegal diamond trade. Consider that the only batch recognized as illegal and consisting of 60,000 carats of diamonds has a commercial value of at least 7 million dollars. The anti-balakas and the Séléka – denounces the report – have in fact exploited the power vacuum existing in the country to finance the guerrillas and armed groups responsible for crimes against humanity. A situation possible thanks to the control exercised over most of the diamond mining sites by local militias. According to the Amnesty International document, this situation would also have seen the involvement of the main Central African diamond companies (Sodiam, Badica and Kardiam).