Fixing CAR: New president under pressure to restore security
The stakes are high for Touadera because further deterioration of the security environment in CAR will only increase sectarian violence and continue to destabilise the region, posing challenges to ending the conflicts in neighbouring South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We have to create the conditions for dialogue between the two communities
But Touadera is set to deliver on his campaign promise and restore security to the country.
Touadera won the national election on a single issue – restoring security in CAR, and according to reports, he received almost 63% of the votes, defeating his opponent, Anicet Dologuele, who won just over 37%.
Touadera positioned himself as a peacemaker, who would mend the Christian-Muslim divide.
“These elections are important, but they are not the only step out of this crisis. We have to create the conditions for dialogue between the two communities,” Touadera told a press conference. “We will do everything we can so that Central Africans can live together in Central African Republic.”
CAR has undergone prolonged bloodshed since the seizure of power by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels in 2013.
Ethno-religious tensions followed. Around six thousand people have been killed and a quarter of the population has been displaced, with more than 400 refugees and 300,000 internally displaced persons.
Although mediation efforts, supported by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), resulted in the signing of the Brazzaville Ceasefire Agreement in July 2014, parties on all sides of the conflict have violated the accord.
The country’s fragile transition, marred by weak governance and the collapse of law and order, has been tested during the elections. However, Touadera has vowed to encourage reconciliation and disarmament.
Touadera served as prime minister for Francois Bozize, the president of 10 years, who was deposed in 2013. But as new president, he is under pressure to foster economic growth, strengthen the rule of law, usher in political stability in CAR, and manage humanitarian crisis.
The election results have to be certified by the Constitutional Court to become final.