Gold and diamonds in Central Africa easily conjure up images of conflict, rebel funding, human rights violations, and smuggling. As a country landlocked within an unstable region, neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and recently the scene of another coup, the Central African Republic (CAR) might be considered an appropriate candidate for analysis within the conflict-mineral perspective. Yet this framework would ignore the country’s mining sector’s very specific characteristics. The sector offers an essential livelihood to many households, represents the country’s second most important export product, and is organised in a particular way. Nonetheless, a wide range of issues regarding the country’s mining sector persist.
This report aims to analyse both the Central African Republic’s gold and diamond mining sector and related environmental and socio-economic issues.