CAR Response Blog

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CAR Crisis Triggers Massive Displacement, Long Term Socio-Economic Impact


According to an IOM working paper, “Migration Dimensions of the Crisis in the Central African Republic”, the CAR crisis which started in December 2012 will have profound long term social-economic implications for the country. © Catianne Tijerina 2014

IOM (Sep-12-2014) - The crisis that erupted in the Central African Republic (CAR) in December 2012 triggering widespread sectarian violence, massive internal displacement and an outflow of CAR nationals and migrants into neighbouring countries, will have profound long term social-economic implications for the country, according to a new IOM working paper: “Migration Dimensions of the Crisis in the Central African Republic”.

The report comprises four sections that look at the political context of the crisis; the various types of migration in CAR; the impact of the conflict on migration flows; and the short, medium and long term socio-economic implications for the country.       

Part I examines  the CAR’s history of political insecurity with a specific emphasis on the most recent wave of violence, its deep rooted political complexity and its drift into an ethno-religious confrontation between Muslim Seleka and Christian anti-Balaka militias. According to the report, this sectarian divide was often a mask for generalized violence and banditry. The violence has been declining in recent months.

The section also briefly outlines the current international response, including UN Security Council Resolution 2149, which in April 2014 authorized the creation of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), which is scheduled to deploy up to 10,000 peacekeepers in the country from September 2014.

Part 2 of the report explores the various forms of migration in CAR and how various migratory trends have been impacted by the conflict. This includes migration between rural and urban areas, labour migration linked to natural resource exploitation, transhumance or seasonal migration of pastoralists, international migration and massive conflict-related displacement, which peaked at over a million people in January 2014, but has since declined.

Part 3 looks at the immediate impact of the crisis on migrants and displaced populations. It highlights the specific vulnerabilities and key issues faced by the different ethno-religious and migrant groups and examines how the crisis has compounded livelihood insecurity both in CAR and in neighbouring countries, notably Chad and Cameroon.  It also looks at the implications of massive outward migration from CAR to neighbouring countries lacking adequate resources to process and reintegrate either their own nationals, refugees or migrants from third countries.  

Part 4 summarizes the short, medium and long term implications of the crisis on displacement and mobility. It examines how future mobility patterns will impact the overall socio-economic situation of the country, which has progressively worsened over the course of the conflict. It highlights in particular the risks of food insecurity and potential land and property challenges related to returns and citizenship, which may be a source of further or repeated displacement.

“Migration Dimensions of the Crisis in the Central African Republic” is one of a series of papers produced as part of IOM’s Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF). The papers aim to help policy-makers and practitioners gain a deeper understanding of the full spectrum of mobility issues during a crisis, including the  humanitarian, security, cultural and socio-economic ramifications for transitioning to eventual post-conflict recovery. To date, similar publications have been released on Mali, Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

To download a copy of the CAR report please go to: http://www.iom.int/cms/CAR

For more information please contact

Patrice Quesada

IOM HQ

Email: pquesada@iom.int