Central African Republic

Advocacy

Anti-balaka local defense militias, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and the Front populaire pour la renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC), Mouvement patriotique pour la Centrafrique (MPC), and Union pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC) as part of the former Séléka coalition are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2021 annual report (S/2021/437) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for various grave violations against children. In June, the SG will report on the implementation of MINUSCA’s mandate, pursuant to SCR 2605 (2021). According to his February report (S/2022/119), the UN verified 429 grave violations against children between October 2021 and February 2022, including recruitment and use (149), killing and maiming (47), rape and other forms of sexual violence (126), abductions (80), attacks on schools and hospitals (10), and denial of humanitarian access (17). Parties to conflict used eight schools for military purposes. In March, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted allegations of “killings, conflict-related sexual violence, and grave violations and abuses against children,” by all parties, including “[government] security forces, supported by […] armed elements and foreign private contractors.” Briefing the 2127 Sanctions Committee in May, the SG’s Special Representative for CAAC stressed that the protection of children must remain central to peace efforts and underlined the need to develop and implement a national prevention plan and nominate child protection focal points within the armed forces. The Security Council should:

  • Call on all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL), and to end and prevent grave violations against children, including by engaging with the UN to sign and implement action plans to end and prevent all six grave violations against children; urge the MPC, FPRC, and UPC to fully and swiftly implement their respective action plans and release all children still in their ranks;
  • Call on the Government to fully implement all aspects of the Child Protection Code and to ensure perpetrators of grave violations are held accountable and that child survivors of sexual violence have access to comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response and protection; encourage the Government to appoint child protection focal points in the armed forces and establish effective measures in cooperation with the UN to end and prevent grave violations by National Defense Forces and other security personnel;
  • Urge the Government to adopt and implement a handover protocol to facilitate the release of children to civilian child protection actors, prioritizing their reintegration in line with the Paris Principles and Commitments, which the Government has endorsed;
  • Call on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (SCWG-CAAC) as per its fourth conclusions on CAR.

France is the lead country on CAR.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – June 2022.

In November, the Working Group received the SG’s fifth report on children and armed conflict in CAR (S/2021/882), covering July 2019 to June 2021. During this period, the CTFMR verified 1,663 grave violations committed against 1,280 children (727 boys, 553 girls), an increase from the previous report (S/2019/852) which covered a longer period. The most prominent violation was recruitment and use (845), which saw the greatest rise in verified cases since the previous report. Most of these children (653) were released from armed groups, particularly from those groups who had signed action plans, following dialogue with the CTFMR. The CTFMR also successfully advocated for the release of 11 boys who had been detained for their alleged association with armed groups. Sexual violence and denial of humanitarian access also increased, while killing and maiming, abductions, and attacks on schools and hospitals decreased slightly. Attacks on schools and hospitals have risen again since the end of 2020. The CTFMR verified 51 cases of military use of schools, with 13 still occupied (mostly by armed forces and bilaterally deployed and other security personnel) as of June 2021. Armed groups were responsible for 82 percent of verified violations, armed forces and bilaterally deployed and other security personnel were found responsible for five percent, and 13 percent of violations could not be attributed. The Working Group should:

  • Strongly condemn all violations and abuses committed against children in CAR, demand that all parties uphold their obligations under IHL and IHRL, and call for safe, timely, and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all civilians in need, including children;
  • Welcoming the adoption of the Child Protection Code criminalizing all six grave violations, call for all perpetrators to be held accountable, including for rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, and for the provision of comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response for child survivors;
  • Call for all parties to conflict to engage with the UN to sign and implement action plans to end and prevent all six grave violations against children; urge the MPC, the FPRC, and UPC to fully and swiftly implement their respective action plans to end and prevent grave violations and release all children still in their ranks;
  • Recalling that children associated with parties to conflict should be treated primarily as victims, urge the adoption and implementation of a handover protocol to facilitate the release of children to civilian child protection actors, prioritizing their reintegration in line with the Paris Principles and Commitments;
  • Call on all parties to immediately cease attacks on schools and education personnel and to take concrete measures to mitigate and avoid the military use of schools, pursuant to SCR 2601 (2021); encourage the Government to uphold its commitments under the Safe Schools Declaration.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – December 2021.

Publications

UN Action

Year listed: 2007
Action Plans signed: UFDR – recruitment and use of children (June 2007); Mouvement Patriotique pour la Centrafrique – recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and attacks on schools and hospitals (June 2018); Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique – recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and attacks on schools and hospitals (July 2019); l’Unité pour la paix en Centrafrique – recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and attacks on schools and hospitals (August 2019)
Previous Action Plans: APRD – recruitment and use of children (October 2011) *Party ceased to exist; CPJP – recruitment and use of children (November 2011) *Party ceased to exist
Sanctions Committee: The Central African Republic Sanctions Committee (Current Chair: Niger)
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in CAR: 2021; 2019; 20162011; 2009
Security Council Working Group conclusions on CAR: 2020201620112009
UN Mission: MINUSCA

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Armee populaire pour la restauration de la Republique et de la democratie (APRD)~ a, c a a a a
Forces democratiques pour la reassemlement (UFDR)/Union des forces democratiques pour le rassemblement (UFDR)~ a, b, d a,c a a a a a,b,c,d
Forces democratiques populaire de Centrafrique (FDPC)* a, c a a a a a a,b,c,d
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)* a,c,e a,c a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c,e a,b,c,e
Movement des liberateurs centrafricains pour la justice (MLCJ) a a a a a
Self-defence militias supported by the Government of Central African Republic a a a a
Convention des patriotes pour la justice et la paix (CPJP)~ a a a a a,b,c,d
Convention des patriotes pour la justice et la paix fondamentale (CPJP fondamentale) a a,b,c,d
Convention patriotique pour le salut du Kodro (CPSK) a
Union des forces republicaines (UFR) a
Local defense militias known as the anti-balaka a,b a,b,c a,b,c a,b,c
Former Séléka coalition and associated armed groups  a,b,c,d a,b,c,d a,b,c,d a,b,c,d

a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children

d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children

~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.

News

News