U.S. Response to Chaos in the Central African Republic

Since the 1960s, the Central African Republic (CAR) has grappled with coups d’état, corruption, and poor economic and political governance. CAR has grown increasingly unstable since late 2012, when successes by the Seleka, a disparate alliance of predominantly Muslim rebel militia groups, led President Francois Bozize to request international assistance. Seleka forcibly removed Bozize from power in March 2013, and Michael Djotodia, a Seleka leader, assumed power as interim president. The Selekas have since looted and enriched themselves via the government while roughly half the population requires emergency assistance. Uncertainty has been amplified by the abrupt resignations of Djotodia and interim Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye. While the U.S. has little direct interest in CAR, chaos threatens stability beyond its borders, and lawless spaces allow extremist groups to operate more freely. The possibility of CAR becoming a failed, lawless state demands that the U.S. not stand idle.

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