Two anti-Balaka groups withdrew from a disarmament process on Friday, December 14, raising the possibility of increased violence in the Central African Republic (CAR). The groups cited the arrest of Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, a former anti-Balaka leader, and other former militia members as evidence of bias in the peace process against the predominantly Christian militias. This most recent setback in the disarmament process may result in increased violence in the coming months, particularly around Bangui. Other anti-Balaka groups, however, continue to remain in the peace process.
The Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered recurrent bouts of civil conflict since December 2012, which has led to hundreds of deaths, almost 700,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), and forced more than 500,000 people to seek refuge in neighboring Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Chad. The fighting is mostly due to a mainly Muslim coalition of rebels, called Séléka, and predominately Christian antibalaka militias. Civilians are frequently the target of violence.
Individuals present in CAR, particularly Bangui, are advised to monitor local developments, maintain a high degree of situational awareness, and remain vigilant for potential militant activity.
In general, a number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to most of the east of the country for various security reasons, including the presence of armed groups.
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