Central African Republic-Overview

Some political stability has been restored after a devastating civil war that cost thousands of lives almost completely destroyed space for peaceful civil society activities in the Central African Republic (CAR). Widespread, indiscriminate attacks on civilians by factions from the Séléka and anti-Balaka rebel groups, as well as ex-Séléka fighters, created lethal conditions for CSOs. Despite the dangers, civil society continued to play a vital role in supporting civilian populations, internally displaced people and refugees throughout the conflict. Civil society organisations – including faith based groups and traditional leaders – are also playing a vital role during the process of political transition in CAR. The formation of a new government in March 2016, together with ongoing efforts to bring all sides of the conflict together into a peaceful transition, may translate into improved conditions for civil society in the coming years. However, this will be a long road, given the many divisions and wounds created by past conflicts in CAR. Despite a new constitution, free assembly and expression remain unfulfilled rights and most people have limited or no access to independent reporting about events in the country.