Publication: Armed Conflict Survey 2015
14 April 2015
Central African Republic
Central African Republic experienced deepening violence in 2014, as the country’s predominately Muslim rebels clashed with vigilante groups made up of Christians and animists. The conflict had been sparked by the Muslim Séléka rebellion of March 2013, which unseated President François Bozizé. Initially led by Michel Djotodia, who replaced Bozizé, the rebels were accused of carrying out mass atrocities that targeted Central African Republic’s Christian majority. Although Djotodia officially disbanded his alliance after six months, he was by that time unable to restrain Séléka fighters. The ensuing violence led to the emergence of Christian anti-balaka (anti-machete) militias, who carried out revenge attacks on Muslim civilians.
A flawed ceasefire agreement
The Central African political leadership had progressively diminishing control of the crisis, as was suggested by widespread reports of lynching, mutilation and cannibalism. Djotodia was pressured into resigning in January 2014, when he attended a regional conference that aimed to stem the increasing sectarian violence in his country.