Eighteen months after rebel forces overthrew former president Francois Bozizé, the situation in the Central African Republic remains unstable. Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza is attempting to govern the country with the aid of ministers from various political backgrounds, but little has been accomplished so far. Peace talks have not led to widespread voluntary disarmament, vast areas of the country are under rebel control and violent clashes are common. One of the key tasks of the United Nations peacekeeping mission will be to help organise elections in 2015. Many people are expected to declare their intention to run for president, but will any of them be able to reunite such a divided country? This report analyses the CAR’s presidential hopefuls based on field research conducted in Bangui in mid-2014.
About the author
David Smith’s involvement in the Central African Republic (CAR) began with his deployment to Bangui in 1998 by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. As part of the MINURCA mission, he established Radio MINURCA (now Radio Ndeke Luka), the first independent national radio service in the CAR. He continues to write and do research on the CAR for the ISS, the Mail & Guardian newspaper and other organisations.