Stopping the armed conflict in the Central African Republic for four years


The conflict in the Central African Republic was stopped for four years by a diplomatic intervention by regional governments and the deployment of a monitoring mission followed by a UN peacekeeping mission.

On 18 April 1996, soldiers of the Central African armed forces staged a mutiny in protest against poor living conditions, the dismissal of the army chief of staff, and unpaid wages. More mutinies took place in May and November.1 Increasingly frequent clashes and a deteriorating security situation was met with the deployment of 1,500 French troops in support of the government. Although this operation did protect key infrastructure, French involvement inspired demonstrations and protests, further destabilising the situation.2 Additional mutinies took place in November 1996, leading to more clashes with French troops. In response, the domestic political opposition together with a former prime minister approached delegates at the France and Africa summit in Ouagadougou on 4-6 December 1996 for help. The summit concluded with an agreement that the leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, and Mali would travel to Bangui to negotiate a truce with the mutineers. This effort produced a ceasefire and created the framework for a peaceful resolution of the crisis to be negotiated. Talks were held the following year, with a weeklong conference taking place between 11 and 18 January encompassing opposition parties and civil society setting out various political and economic reforms, as well as the reorganisation of the armed forces.3 On 25 January, these commitments were affirmed alongside an agreement to end hostilities in the Bangui Accords, which also established an international committee to oversee implementation.4

With support from the Government of France, the Inter-African Mission to Monitor the Implementation of the Bangui Accords (Mission de surveillance des accords de Bangui, MISAB) was stood up on 31 January to replace French forces, which were withdrawn. Composed of 800 troops and led by a Gabonese general, MISAB was mandated to verify compliance with the Accords and begin a disarmament campaign.5 MISAB clashed with mutinying Central African troops several times before a ceasefire was negotiated on 28 June 1997. This ended the conflict (which cost the lives of around 1,000 people) and created the framework for the Bangui Accords to be implemented.6 On 27 March 1998, the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (Mission des Nations Unies dans la Republique Centrafricaine, MINURCA) replaced MISAB.7 These efforts helped to prevent further conflict in the Central African Republic until they were withdrawn in 2000. Within a year of the withdrawal, after almost four years of peace, more Central African troops mutinied, and the conflict resumed.8

1 Moussounga Itsouhou Mbadinga. “The Inter-African mission to monitor the implementation of the Bangui agreements (MISAB).” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 8, No. 4. (2001) p.22

2 Howard W. French. “Anger at French Troops Grows in Central Africa.” The New York Times. (24 May 1996) Available at: (Accessed 9/12/2021)

3 Preliminary Agreement on National Reconciliation Pact, 1997. Available at: (Accessed 9/12/2021)

4 Bangui Accords, 1997. Available at: (Accessed 9/12/2021)

5 Mandate of the Inter-African Force to Monitor the Implementation of the Bangui Agreements, 1997. Available at: (Accessed 9/12/2021)

6 Dynamic Analysis of Dispute Management Project. Central African Republic (1960-present). (DADM, 2021) Available at: (Accessed 9/12/2021)

7 UN Peacekeeping. Central African Republic – MINURCA Background. (UN, 2001) Available at: (Accessed 9/12/2021)

8 Dynamic Analysis of Dispute Management Project. Central African Republic (1960-present).

Start Year


End Year



Central African Republic

UN Regional Group


Type of Conflict

Vertical (state-based) intrastate conflict with foreign involvement

Type of Initiative

Mediation of a peace agreement, Peacekeeping mission

Main Implementing Organisation(s)

Regional governments and the UN




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