Preventing Conflict in Central Africa ECCAS caught Between Ambitions, Challenges and Reality

The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) has a long way to go in preventing regional crises. Many challenges remain in making the infrastructure (especially the Central African Early Warning Mechanism and the Central African Multinational Force) operational and effective, and there is a gap between ambition and reality. These obstacles and challenges include ECCAS’ highly centralised and state-focused structure; a narrow, militaristic approach to security issues; and the wider institutional setting. Matters of responsibility in relation to the African Union also remain unresolved. With regard to the crossborder dimension of security issues and the high number of upcoming elections in the region, ECCAS’ participation in maintaining peace appears crucial.