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Central African Republic

Yearbook 2016

Central African Republic. Both the presidential and parliamentary elections held at the end of December 2015 were disputed. In the end, the country's constitutional court annulled the parliamentary election after several hundred complaints about irregularities were received. According to countryaah, several of the candidates in the presidential election also claimed that everything was not right, but after the transitional government appealed for reflection, the election result was accepted. This showed that two former prime ministers, Anicet-Georges Dologuélé and Faustin-Archange Touadéra, received the most votes and that a second round of elections was required. This was held in February. Although Dologuélé received the strongest support in the first round, he had to be defeated by Touadéra, who received 63% of the vote. Dologuélé accused his opponent of cheating but the Constitutional Court rejected his petition and Touadéra was able to resign at the end of March.

2016 Central African Republic

In February, in parallel with the presidential election, the first round of elections to Parliament was held again. The remaining members were elected in elections that could be finalized at the end of March with supplementary elections in May and June. Sixty of the 140 seats went to independent candidates and no party gained more than 16 seats in the National Assembly.

Despite the success of the elections, the country continued to be plagued by violence. The Ugandan rebel movement The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) carried out several attacks and kidnapped a total of hundreds of people, including many children. Since the movement was formed in 1987, the LRA has made itself known for robbing mainly children to force them to become either soldiers or sex slaves. In June, a spokesman for Uganda's defense announced that the country intended to call home the Central African Republic forces sent there to fight the LRA. Uganda pointed out, among other things, that the promised support from several other countries was absent.

French President François Hollande also announced in July that the French forces still in the Central African Republic would leave the country in October. France sent soldiers to its former colony in 2013, when a military coup was followed by bloody conflicts and political chaos. In contrast, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the peacekeeping force MINUSCA to November 2017.

In October, hundreds of people demonstrated near the UN office in the capital Bangui. Firearms broke out between protesters and UN soldiers and four people lost their lives. UN soldiers have previously been accused of, among other things, sexual abuse against the civilian population. New charges of rape came during the year. In June, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report in which Congolese UN soldiers were identified as guilty of killing 18 people, including women and children, in 2013 and 2015.

During the year, outbreaks of violence were reported in mainly the northern parts of the country. Since 2013, the country has been ravaged by a bloody conflict between soldiers from the former rebel movement Séléka, associated with the country's Muslim minority, and mainly Christian militia groups under the name anti-balaka ("anti-machete"). In addition to a large number of dead, the fighting and the numerous abuses against civilians have driven thousands of people to flight, many of them to neighboring countries. During the year, disputes also broke out between groups that were previously part of Séléka. In November, some 80 people were killed and more than 10,000 were forced to flee since the People's Front of the Central African Republic's rebirth (FPRC) and the Union of Peace in Central Africa (UPC) collapsed. All the dead belonged to the Fulani people.

In March, Jean-Pierre Bemba, former Vice President of Congo (Kinshasa), was convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic in 2002–03. Bemba had then sent soldiers, who were part of the rebel movement he founded in the 1990s, to help then-Central African President Ange-Félix Patassé defeat a coup attempt. Bemba was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

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