CAR

Final report of the Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic extended pursuant to Security Council resolution 2588 (2021) (S/2022/527)

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Summary

The period under review (June 2021–May 2022) was marked by the 16 September 2021 adoption of the Luanda road map by the Heads of State and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region under the auspices of Angola and Rwanda. This diplomatic effort resulted in a unilateral ceasefire declaration by President Faustin Archange Touadera on 15 October 2021, which was followed by the organization of a republican dialogue from 21 to 27 March 2022 in Bangui. The dialogue excluded the Coalition des patriotes pour le changement (CPC) and was boycotted by the main leaders of the political opposition. A rise in diplomatic tensions between certain partner countries and regional and international financial institutions on one side and the Central African Government on the other side could negatively influence the prospects of a lasting resolution to the crisis.

The period was also marked by an increase in incidents of injury or death of civilians caused by improvised explosive devices and anti-personnel mines, likely to have spilled over from other conflicts in the region. Leading the CPC coalition, the Unité pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC) has extended its area of operations towards the Sudanese border, probably to control natural resources (diamonds and gold) and arms trafficking routes. With regards to natural resources, a positive development has been the increasing volume of diamonds from Kimberley Process compliant zones in the western Central African Republic entering the official trade, thus reducing trafficking. Meanwhile, the prospect of the Kimberley Process readmitting diamond areas in the east remains doubtful.

Despite the ceasefire, armed hostilities continued between the national armed forces, supported by bilaterally deployed security personnel, and armed groups affiliated with the CPC coalition. Ongoing conflict continues to be accompanied by serious violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law by all parties. Civilians, and Fulani and Muslim communities in particular, have disproportionally been victims of indiscriminate killings. The multiple attacks suffered by humanitarian personnel have made the Central African Republic one of the most challenging places to work for aid workers, limiting humanitarian access amid ever-increasing needs. Moreover, the recruitment, use and abuse of children by armed groups, in addition to cases of conflict-related sexual violence, are still ubiquitous violations of international humanitarian law.