Delegate Name: Joey Bennett
The civil war plaguing the Central African Republic originates from the CAR’s Bush War, where the government of democratically elected President François bozizé fought with rebels until a peace treaty was achieved in 2007. The current conflict originated when a new coalition of rebel groups known as the Séléka, accused the government of failing to abide by the peace agreements. The Séléka captured numerous towns in 2012 and seized the capital, leading to bozizé fleeing the country. Shortly after, a group called the anti-Balaka began to fight the Séléka. The Séléka disbanded and a new president was appointed in September 2013. By the end of 2014, the country was de facto divided, with the anti-Balaka controlling the south and west, from which most Muslims had evacuated, and ex-Séléka groups controlling the north and east. Faustin-Archange Touadéra who was elected President in 2016 ran and won the 2020 election that triggered the main rebel factions to form an alliance opposed to the election called the Coalition of Patriots for Change, which was coordinated by former President Bozizé. Much of the tension is over religious identity between Muslim Séléka fighters, Christian anti-balaka, and ethnic differences among ex-Séléka factions.
Japan is deeply concerned for the safety of the 600,000 displaced persons in the CAR. The United Nations has already begun using programs such as the World Food Programme (WPF), which Japan has supported with over $1 million USD. Japan supports further efforts such as the WPF to ensure the displayed persons are fed and healthy. Japan has also donated 8.2 million US dollars to support additional United Nations plans and programs. Japan plans to continue supporting humanitarian efforts in order to keep those displaced by the conflict safe. Japan also raises the issue of the reputation of the UN Peacekeepers in the CAR, mistrust of the peacekeepers stationed in the CAR has made it almost impossible for them to do their job. An incident in April 2018 led to demonstrators laying the bodies of sixteen people killed in the violence in front of the UN’s headquarters in Bangui, they were accusing peacekeepers of firing on civilians. In order for the Peacekeepers’ mission to be successful, they must have a positive reputation with the general public. Scars like this make it impossible for them to be successful and we must ensure that something like this never happens again by creating stronger rules of engagement and better training of the peacekeepers.