Fighting in CAR is characterised by overlapping tensions between ex-Seleka and anti-balaka, Muslim and Christian communities, and pastoralists and farmers.? Alliances shift depending on armed groups' attempts to gain or consolidate control over territories and resources. ? In Mbomou, Basse-Kotto and Haut-Mbomou prefectures, violence is sometimes driven by underlying ethnic tensions.?Between September and December 2017 high levels of violence were recorded in Haute and Basse-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Ouham, and Ouaka due to fighting among different armed groups. At the beginning of 2018 the security situation in these prefectures remains unchanged. ? LRA attacks and abductions are frequent in Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou, as the group is present in areas bordering DRC. In 2017, attacks and abductions committed by the LRA were also reported in Haute-Kotto and DRC. ? ? Since beginning of 2018, increased levels of intercommunal and ethnic violence and attacks by armed groups have been recorded in Bangui (Ombella-Mpoko), Paoua (Ouham-Pende), Ippy (Ouaka), and Markounda (Ouham). Renewed clashes are affecting especially the IDPs displaced from previous conflicts, the Muslim community in Bangui, and local and international humanitarian workers. In Bangassou (Mbomou) armed groups constantly threaten civilians, especially IDPs, of renewed conflict if they do not respect movement restrictions. ?
On 22 February, fighting between two armed groups, the "Force" and the "You le Geant" in PK5 district of Bangui resulted in three deaths and at least seven injured.??
Between 20 February and 3 March renewed fighting among different armed groups was recorded in the villages surrounding Alindao, namely in the areas connecting Alindao to Kongbo and Mindala. The fighting resulted in a number of casualties and several houses were burnt by armed men.?? Following tensions between transhumant pastoralists and the local community of Kouango, on 12 February 42 hectares of coffee bush and 3.5 hectares of cassava were destroyed in Kouango. Local authorities suspect that the pastoralists are behind the fire.? An escalation of violence against civilians by armed groups was reported in the towns of Alindao, Mobaye, and the village of Wanga between 24 January and 8 February.??On 8 February clashes between two armed groups were reported in Pavica (a village 7km from Alindao) resulting in two deaths and several injured. Armed groups in Basse-Kotto also directly target IDPs: on 4 February armed men attacked an IDP camp in Alindao.?
The security situation in Bria remains unstable due to the presence of armed groups who regularly target both the local population and IDPs living in the PK3 camp.? Anti-balaka, the FPRC, the UPC, and self-defence militias are based in Bria and they both attack or fight against fighters and/or civilians belonging to "opposing" religious or ethnic groups, such as Fulani, Arabs, and Muslims. Yet, a number of anti-balaka in the area are allied with ex-Seleka factions, such as the FPRC, who are mostly Muslim.??An attack against pastoralists around the Yalinga-Bria road, on 13 February, was reported. The attack resulted in one breeder injured and the loss of the livestock who escaped in the bush.This attack, in addition to the already instable security situation in Bria, reflects an exacerbation of inter-community tensions.? The LRA is also present in Haute-Kotto.?
'Self-defense' groups and UPC have been clashing in Zemio, Mboki, and Obo towns since mid April 2017.? Latest fightng in the prefectures were reported on 21 December 2017 in the towns of Zemio and Dembia.?
Since 26 December 2017, some 1,600 IDPs in the Seminaire St Louis site of the town of Bangassou continue to face restrictions on movement due to the presence of self-defense groups.??? The deterioration of the security situation in Mbomou led to the displacement of 18,000 people, mainly towards Bangassou and Rafai.? ? At the Mbomou-Uele border with DRC, 30 attacks perpertrated mainly by the LRA were registered in February 2018. The attacks resulted at least in 15 civilians killed and 25 abducted. In the same month, the Peuhl community of southern Mboumou was involved in a number of attacks. The organisation Invisible Children registered seven attacks targeting the Fulani community and eight attacks in which armed Fulani or the majority-Fulani led UPC group were responible.?
Since end of December 2017, following clashes in Bodjomo (north of Ouham prefecture) between the Revolution et Justice (RJ) and ex-Seleka armed men, 10,000 IDPs were registered in the village of Boguila and 7,500 remain displaced in Markounda. Several villages in the area were torched.???On 20 December, an unidentified armed group attacked the town of Kamabakota, near Batangafo, burning some 300 houses, livestock, and the town's medical centre. 2,000 people were internally displaced following the attack, seeking refuge in host families in the villages between Kambakota and Benzambe. ?
The town of Batangafo is reportedly under the control of ex-Seleka since 30 October 2017.?
After a short of period of relative calm, renewed fighting was recorded on 21 and 22 February in the villages of Korazian (40km east of Paoua) and Bekoro (45km east of Paoua). In the latter, six people were abducted by armed men and 50 houses burnt.? Between 27 December and mid-January several clashes were reported between the armed groups Mouvement national pour la liberation de la Centrafrique (MNLC) and Revolution et Justice (RJ) in the town of Paoua and surrounding villages, near the border with Chad. ??The fighting led to the displacement of some 65,000 IDPs and estimated 20,000 refugees to southern Chad. ?? According to MINUSCA, the RJ has targeted the Muslim neighbourhoods of Paoua in their attacks. IDPs remain in need of protection, food, and NFIs.??
After a period of relative calm, renewed fighting has been reported in the town of Ippy between anti-balaka and other armed groups since mid-February 2018.?? At 23 February fighting in Ippy resulted in the death of five people and several injured. Fighting is particularly affecting the 15,000 IDPs hosted in the Catholic church, as they face protection issues and movement restrictions, which limit their access to basic services and water sources, as well as their ability to reach their fields to harvest.? Between 29 January and 3 February, a number of acts of violence against civilians and IDPs by armed groups were also registered in Bambari and surrounding areas. The humanitarian impact of this escalation of violence in Bambari area has not been assessed yet.? On 15 January fighting between armed groups was reported not far of Bambari. As of 22 of January, no IDPs or major fatalities were reported due to the fighting. ? A number of acts of physical and material violence committed by armed groups against traders, herders, and local authorities were reported in the area of Bambari in the first two weeks of January.? The presence of armed groups was also reported in the area of Kuoango; they are illicitly imposing taxes on goods to traders.?
On 9 October 2017 the FPRC of Abdoulaye Hissene, the MPC, the UPC of Ali Darassa, and the RDR signed an agreement (the Ippy Agreement) to end the hostilities in Ouaka and Basse-Kotto.? Members and representatives of these four armed groups in other regions stated the agreement does not concern the factions operating in other areas of the country. ?Despite the agreement, in December 2017 fighting involving the FPRC and the UPC against anti-balaka was reported in the prefecture of Ouaka. ? ?
Nana-Mambere and Mambere-Kadei
3R continued to operate in Nana-Mambere throughout 2017. ? On 15 December 2017, the 3R and anti-balaka militia signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in Bouar. ?? If the agreement is effectively applied, it will likely lead to an improvement of the humanitarian situation in Bouar.
Between 28 and 31 January a number of incursions by armed groups were reported not far from the town of Berberati, in the villages of Nassole and Ndongo, leading to some small scale displacement.?
At the end of 2017 a number of attacks by unidentified armed groups have been reported in Mambere-Kadei, at the border with Cameroon. The border is reportedly the scene of clashes and attacks by armed groups.? In the town of Amada-Gaza civilians are often subject to the violence of the anti-government militia Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC), as well as of Cameroonian gunmen who target Fulani pastoralists.? In this area, fighting prevents CAR refugees in Cameroon from returning to CAR. ? ?