Potential Hot Spots: The Central African Republic (CAR)


: Items About Areas That Could Break Out Into War
July 28, 2006: Spillover fighting from Chad and Sudan's Darfur region continues to hurt the CAR. The UN says that in early July the CAR was "victimized" by regional fighting. Opponents of CAR president Francois Bozize may now be collaborating with rebels in Chad, who oppose the current Chadian government and Chad's current president, Idriss Deby.) That suggests the anti-Bozize rebels also have links to Sudan's government. The Sudanese government supports the anti-Deby factions in Chad. Chadian rebels have made use of CAR territory to launch attacks into Chad.
Rebel and government forces skirmished along the Chad-CAR border in 2002. The CAR has been wracked by coups, threats of coups, and counter-coups, with the northern CAR being a particularly volatile area.. The fragile CAR government has also had trouble with bandits in the northern and eastern CAR. The CAR is listed as one of the world's "least developed" nations. It is also split along tribal lines (the bane of Africa) and riddled with competing political factions. The CAR has yet to shake off the effects of the May 2001 coup attempt (which was defeated with the help of Chadian and Libyan troops). In order to facilitate Libyan withdrawal, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) deployed a small 350-man peacekeeping unit to the CAR in late 2002 (though the unit did not really become an effective force until 2003). Bozize—a former general—was elected president in a disputed election held in May 2005. Tribal skirmishes between Bozize supporters and his opponents broke out in the fall of 2005. Late last year France gave CAR military and police forces a batch of wheeled armored vehicles in an attempt to improve their mobility. But the war in Darfur and fighting between Chad and Sudan has increased the chaos in the CAR's border regions. The hard-pressed CAR security forces cannot cope.
July 14, 2006: The government of France said that it will increase aid to the CAR. France is concerned about growing instability in the CAR, particularly what was described as a "rebellion" in the northern CAR. France will send troops to the CAR and increase its logistic and training support for CAR forces. The new aid package will also include support by cargo aircraft (multi-engine tactical transports) to help the CAR airlift military equipment from the capital of Bangui to threatened regions. France also supports CAR forces with aerial reconnaissance aircraft .


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