Central African Republic: Serious concerns about the deteriorating security situation

Bangui, 3 May 2017 - More than four years after the 2013 coup d'état and the new crisis that struck the Central African Republic:

  • More than 20% of the population remains displaced (401,072 persons) within the country’s borders or are refugees (463,759 persons) in neighbouring countries.
  • More than 60% of the territory remains in the grip of armed militias, beyond any control by the State.
  • 48% of the population suffers from hunger and only has one meal per day (WFP).
  • Only 35% of the population has access to drinkable water and 27% to sanitation services (OCHA).
  • 2.2 million Central Africans, i.e. half of the population, depend on humanitarian aid for their survival (OCHA).

Since September 2016, the Central African Republic has been experiencing a new deterioration of its security situation: violent clashes among armed groups are frequent (especially in Ouaka, Nana-Gribizi, Haute-Kotto...), intercommunal violence has been fanned by a sub-contracting to so-called self-defence groups, who have perpetrated numerous abuses against civilians and affect zones that have until now be relatively spared (ex. Basse¬Kotto, Mbomou).

Between September 2016 and February 2017, more than 100,000 new internal displaced persons have been forced to flee their homes in these regions. These figures have been slightly offset by modest return movements recorded in 2016.

MINUSCA has undergone a change in the ways it intervenes: it is engaged on several fronts, its resources have unfortunately proved to be insufficient and/or unsuited to responding to the multitude of situations that have given rise to protection needs, and this is without the cooperation of internal security forces which here are almost ineffective.

Protection and assistance needs began to rise again at the beginning of the 2017 in several zones of the country, at the same time as recovery and development needs in the so-called “stabilized” zones.

This notwithstanding, humanitarian funding is increasingly lower. Last year, the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was only 37% funded leaving humanitarian operations in the country chronically underfunded.

As of the end of March, the recorded funding only covers 6% of the 2017 HRP needs for the year 2017, estimated at 399.5 million dollars.

The funding promises of the National Plan for Recovery and Peacebuilding- Central African Republic (RCPCA) made during the Brussels Conference on the Central African Republic last 17 November 2016 — amounting to 2.2 billion dollars over a 3 year-period — have as of today, failed to materialize, and the coordination mechanisms of the National Plan for Recovery and Peacebuilding - Central African Republic have been experiencing delays in their implementation.

Position of the INGOs. The INGOs members of the Coordination Committee who are signatories of this note, including JRS West Africa, express their serious concerns about the deteriorating security situation, as well as its impacts as regards human rights violations, humanitarian access to vulnerable populations, the upsurge in needs as well as their own resources and response capacities.

The support of the international community remains crucial in the Central African Republic, and must be strengthened in all its aspects: both political and military — especially with a view to increasing the protection of civilians, along with its humanitarian aspects, but also in terms of recovery and development.

The crisis of the Central African Republic must not once again become a forgotten crisis, but on the contrary generate a flexible, multifaceted, response that can be adapted and is adaptable in order to meet the needs of the vulnerable and to tackle the current emergency situation while addressing the root and structural causes of the crisis (especially chronic underdevelopment, the absence of decentralisation, and impunity).