Final report of the Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2127 (2013) (S/2014/762)

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Despite the signature of a cessation - of - hostilities agreement in Brazzaville on 23 July 2014, armed groups remain in control of or still exert influence over almost all inhabited areas of the Central African Republic.

Although the general security situation is perceived to have partially improved, in particular in Bangui, the Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic estimates that some 2,000 former Séléka fighters, excluding the elements cantoned in Bangui, and some 1,500 militiamen associated with the anti - balaka movement continue to pose a permanent threat to the peace, security and stability of the country, which remains de facto partitioned.

Any improvement in the security situation in the Central African Republic also depends on the neighbouring States ’ continuous commitment to the peace process. In carrying out its mandate, the Panel documented several incidents in the northern part of t he country bordering Chad, including the killing of civilians, the burning of villages and forced displacement. These recurrent attacks by unknown armed groups and former Séléka units under the command of Brigadier General Mahamat Alkhatim have resulted in the establishment of a buffer zone between Chad and the provinces of Ouham and Ouham - Pendé in the Central African Republic.

In addition, the increasing fragmentation of the main armed groups active in the country and the recent implosion of the Front populaire pour la renaissance de centrafrique, the new political structure representing the former Séléka, constitute significant challenges to the stabilization of the political landscape in order to hold free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential a nd legislative elections in February 2015.

There have been few direct confrontations between former Séléka and anti - balaka forces since 5 December 2013, but both armed groups, in particular the anti - balaka, have constantly targeted civilians. In this con text, the offensive against Séléka positions in Batangafo (Ouham Province) carried out the week after the signature of the cessation - of - hostilities agreement in Brazzaville by one of the most prominent anti - balaka commanders, who is a member of the command - and - control structure of the military branch of the Coordination nationale des libérateurs du people centrafricain of Patrice Edouard Ngaïssona, also known as the Mouvement des patriotes anti - balaka, demonstrates that any real commitment by political lead ers to ceasing hostilities remains in doubt.

Furthermore, the Panel assesses that competition among political representatives of armed groups for ministerial positions, as well as among military commanders for control of resources, accounts for the rece nt infighting between former components of the Séléka and anti - balaka rival factions. The appointment to the post of Minister of Youth and Sports in the new transitional cabinet of the leader of an armed group called Révolution et justice reinforces the pr ospect that being the commander of a politico - military movement could lead to top governmental positions and therefore validates the strategy of political spoilers.