The Central African Republic is set to wrap up its Republican Dialogue for reconciliation today.
The national forum was demanded by opposition leaders who had been promised by President Faustin Touadera since December 2020—after winning a highly controversial re-election, in which only one-third of the electorate was able to vote. The forum is meant to bring peace to a country plagued by conflict and civil war since 2013. However, nearly all opposition leaders boycotted the dialogue as no rebel leaders were invited.
With half of the population suffering from severe food insecurity, the CAR depends heavily on international aid, which is contingent on advancing peace talks between the Touadera regime and rebel groups. Expect the week’s talks to signal little progress towards reconciliation, as the absence of opposition leaders prevents any veritable amelioration of the situation. In the short-term, optimism about the possibility of real change will likely fall as Touadera will continue to clamp down on power. Discussions have alluded to amending the constitution to allow him to run for a third term. However, the capital Bangui will be increasingly difficult to hold in the long term, as rebel groups have begun using more effective guerilla tactics against the government.
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Ali is a Copy-Editor and Analyst on Daily Brief team, contributing regularly to the Daily Brief. He also leads the Foreign Brief Week in Review multimedia team. He focuses on political and development issues in the Middle East and North Africa.