Photo: A closing ceremony marking the formal end to France's mission in Central Africa Republic, in Bangui; about 350 troops will stay behind and France has deemed the mission a success, though armed groups have killed dozens in recent weeks - @EdouardDropsy
The Central African Republic conflict is an ongoing civil war in the Central African Republic (CAR) between the Séléka rebel coalition and government forces, which began on 10 December 2012. The conflict arose after rebels accused the government of President François Bozizé of failing to abide by peace agreements signed in 2007 and 2011. Many of the rebel groups had been involved in the Central African Republic Bush War.
Rebel forces known as Séléka (meaning "union" in the Sango language) captured many major towns in the central and eastern regions of the country at the end of 2012. Séléka comprises two major groups based in north-eastern CAR: the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) and the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP), but also includes the lesser known Patriotic Convention for Saving the Country (CPSK). Two other groups based in northern CAR, the Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC) and the Chadian group Popular Front for Recovery (FPR), also announced their allegiance to the Séléka coalition.
Chad, Gabon, Cameroon, Angola, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of Congo sent troops as part of the Economic Community of Central African States' FOMAC force to help the Bozizé government hold back a potential rebel advance on the capital, Bangui. However, the capital was seized by the rebels on 24 March 2013 at which time President Bozizé fled the country, and the rebel leader Michel Djotodia declared himself president.
On 18 April 2013, Djotodia was recognized as the transitional head of government at a regional summit in N'Djamena. On 14 May CAR's PM Nicolas Tiangaye requested a UN peacekeeping force from the UN Security Council and on 31 May former President Bozizé was indicted for crimes against humanity and incitement of genocide.
The security situation remained poor during the summer of 2013 with reports of over 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), and human rights abuses, including the use of child soldiers, rape, torture, extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. Renewed fighting in August, between Séléka and Bozizé supporters in anti-balaka militia, prompted French President François Hollande to call on the UN Security Council and the African Union to increase their efforts to stabilize the country. Nonetheless, the conflict worsened. By August the Séléka-run government under Djotodia was said to be increasingly divided. In January 2014, President Djotodia resigned and was replaced by Catherine Samba-Panza, but the conflict continued.
In 2014, Amnesty International reported several massacres committed by the anti-balakas against Muslim civilians, forcing thousands of Muslims to flee the country. Other sources report incidents of Muslims being cannibalized. Rebel leader Noureddine Adam declared the autonomous Republic of Logone on 14 December 2015; a spokesman for the Central African Republic's transitional government denounced the rebel's declaration.