Central African Republic Country Report
Escalating fighting between armed groups and attacks against civilians in most parts of the CAR threaten government stability, although the first-ever conviction of a militia leader is a positive indicator for the CAR judiciary. The disarmament process has largely failed to take hold, despite militia representation in government following a reshuffle in September 2017. Looting and attack risks to foreign NGOs and their employees are high, while UN peacekeepers are being drawn directly into the conflict. Fighting between splinter groups of the ex-Séléka, anti-Balaka, and vigilante groups poses high disruption risks to cargo movements, UN convoys, and mining operations. The partial lifting of the diamond export ban faces an elevated risk of being rescinded due to the armedmilitias' ongoing control of mines in the north and east.
CAR is landlocked and composed of dense equatorial forests in the south and savannah in the north, and is subject to humid, tropical weather in the centre. Despite President Touadéra's pledge to fight corruption and attract investment, bureaucratic inertia is a serious problem across the public sector and business environment, with frequent strikes mostly in demand of salary arrears. The main impediment to investment is spiralling insecurity, with 60% of the country under control of militias operating by their own rules. Corruption and weak infrastructure increase the cost of starting a business.
UN officials have warned that CAR is on the verge of genocide as violence increases across the country. Anti-Balaka and ex-Séléka groups are fractured and fighting is both sectarian and ethnic. UN peacekeepers have almost sole responsibility for security and are often unable to contain violence in rural parts, with the areas around Batangafo, Kaga Bandoro, Bria, Bambari, Bangassou, and Zemio particularly at risk. Violence in the southeast has increased significantly since US and Ugandan troops withdrew in May 2017. However, the risk of Islamist terrorist attacks is low.
The spread of militia violence has heightened the risk of civil war. Northern, northwestern, central, eastern, and southeastern parts of the country are most affected and despite additional peacekeepers, the UN mission MINUSCA is increasingly hard-pushed to contain the conflict. Risks of grenade and gun attacks against UN convoys and NGO workers are escalating, with Kaga Bandoro, Batangafo, Bria, Bambari, and Bangassou particular hotspots. In Bangui, patrols face particular risks in the PK5 neighbourhood, although M'poko airport is now more secure. CAR's weak army makes interstate war unlikely.
Anger over MINUSCA's perceived inability to restore security is likely to drive public protests against the UN and the government in volatile cities like Kaga-Bandoro, Bambari, Bria, Batangafo, and Bangassou, as well as the capital, Bangui. Protests against vigilante groups are likely to halt commercial activity in parts of Bangui, while discord over the peace process will continue to fuel sectarian unrest between rival militias. Anti-government protests and strikes over unpaid salaries are highly likely in urban areas.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all travelers over nine months of age entering the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
The rainy season (which lasts 6 months) causes widespread floods, material damage, and deaths.
Much of the country's road infrastructure is obsolete, insufficient, partially degraded, or even nonexistent.
The three main paved roads starting in Bangui are in poor condition. One leads to Mbaïki (100 km [60 mi]), another to Sibut (200 km [120 mi]), and a large part of the route toward Bouar and Cameroon. During the rainy season (May to October), the roads often become impassable.
The danger of road travel has increased due to the lack of adherence to road regulations, the poor condition of many of the vehicles, and the lack of health facilities. The absence of street lighting and traffic lights makes traveling at night inadvisable. Road accidents resulting in fatalities may provoke riots.
Outside of major cities, travel by road should be only take place during the day in a sports utility vehicle (4x4), with a driver, preferably in convoy. Individuals should also travel with extra water, food, and fuel. It is advisable to ensure that your vehicle is equipped with replacement parts (spare tires, cables, etc.) as well as telecommunications devises. Individuals should carry identification papers at all times (passport and visa). During travel in the capital, it is advisable to communicate the details of one's travel arrangements to a trusted confidant.
Intercity travel via road can prove dangerous. Official and unofficial roadblocks are frequent. Furthermore it is recommended to remain vigilant when traveling in isolated regions; cases of armed theft, carjacking, and the presence of bandits have been reported across the country.
The airlines MINAIR, Via Air, and Lapara offer flights to the cities in the center of the country, as long as the region is secure. There are daily flights operated by several international airlines from Douala (Cameroon). Air France operates a weekly, direct flight.
Due to the degradation of the energy network in the previous conflict, there are frequent power and water cuts in the country.
Mobile telephone signals cover the Bangui area as well as a significant part of the interior of the country.
The climate in the north of the country is Sahelian (tropical and semi-arid). The climate in the south is tropical, hot, and humid. The rainy season begins in May and ends in October.
|Bangui Central Police Station:||21 61 13 00|
There are no emergency services in the CAR.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz