Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Central African Crisis: From Predation to Stabilisation

Source: International Crisis Group

To stabilise the Central African Republic (CAR), the transitional government and its international partners need to prioritise, alongside security, action to fight corruption and trafficking of natural resources, as well as revive the economy.

Decades of misrule and state predation by CAR’s authorities and armed groups laid the ground for the country’s economic breakdown and state collapse in 2013. But the international intervention focuses mostly on security measures instead of a comprehensive stabilisation strategy. In its latest report, The Central African Crisis: From Predation to Stabilisation, the International Crisis Group outlines the need for an approach that combines a peace operation with economic incentives, state support and the fight against trafficking.

The report’s major findings and recommendations are:
  • The transitional government’s demand for strong international support paves the way for a durable partnership between the new authorities and international actors, especially the G5 members – UN, European Union, U.S., African Union and France – and regional countries. .
  • This partnership should not be limited to emergency measures but should include support for state institutions, anti-trafficking and anti-corruption measures and the revival of the formal economy. The new UN mission (MINUSCA) should broaden its mandate to help address these challenges.
  • To fight state predation and improve financial public governance, CAR’s transitional government and its international partners should agree on co-management of key revenue generating institutions.
  • To fight illicit trafficking networks, the transitional government should investigate embezzlement by previous governments with the help of Interpol, donors and the UN. The latter should create a cell of specialists within MINUSCA to investigate gold, diamond and ivory trafficking.
  • To revive the economy, the transitional government, private sector and donors should launch labour intensive projects in agriculture and public works that provide employment opportunities in particular for youths and disbanded militias.
“Bad governance and predation have destroyed the state and the economy and impoverished the population” says Thibaud Lesueur, Central Africa Analyst. “The current peacekeeping mandate is not sufficient to meet these challenges”.

“International actors in the Central African Republic and the transitional government must understand that deploying a peacekeeping mission is in itself not a strategy”, says Thierry Vircoulon, Central Africa Project Director. “Unless they forge a genuine partnership to address the root causes of the conflict and change governance, they will repeat the failures of past interventions”.