conflict minerals

Central African Republic (CAR)

CAR is in the midst of one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. Natural resources are at the heart of the dynamics driving the conflict. We must urgently break this link. Read more

The Central African Republic (CAR) is in the midst of one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. More than two million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and nearly a fifth of the population is displaced. High levels of insecurity and impunity prevail, with armed groups carrying out sporadic attacks against civilians right across the country. As local populations continue to bear the brunt of this crisis, there is a pressing need to find sustainable solutions to ensure these atrocities do not continue and intensify.

CAR’s natural resources are at the heart of the dynamics driving the conflict. Timber, gold and diamonds have played a central role in motivating and financing the conflict’s main two rival groups, the Seleka and the anti-balaka. Both groups have profited from the trade in a number of ways, including through exploitation, looting and illegal taxation.

CAR’s history is marred by a legacy of political instability, weak institutions, entrenched corruption and predatory rule—all characteristics of a failed state. Since the start of the recent crisis, consecutive transitional governments have failed to manage the natural resource sector transparently and in way that benefits its citizens. 

Global Witness believes that the control of natural resources by armed groups and political elites is a major impediment to stability in CAR. The link between natural resource exploitation, conflict and corruption needs to be urgently addressed if peace is to be achieved in CAR.