Central African Republic: Untangling the Political Dialogue
Excerpt: "Since the coup d’etat that brought President François Bozizé to power on 15 March 2003, the risk of renewed wider violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) has never been greater than today. The opening of an inclusive political dialogue on 8 December – initially planned for June 2008 – has continued to be negotiated inch by inch, but both the regime and the main opposition forces see armed conflict as the ultimate way out of the crisis and are making preparations to return to it. Genuine democratisation and state reform nevertheless seem possible if all sides can overcome that temptation and manage their differences in a consensual way, but the political dialogue needs to be refocused around organisation of elections in 2010 and negotiation of a credible transitional justice mechanism. To avoid another round of violent regime change, the government should also complete reform of the security sector, including equitable integration of former rebels into the security services."