Central African Republic

Amnesty International takes no position on issues of sovereignty or territorial disputes. Borders on this map are based on UN Geospatial data.
Back to Central African Republic

Central African Republic 2023

The right to freedom of expression was curtailed. Restrictions were imposed on freedom of peaceful assembly in the context of a new constitution. The security situation deteriorated with grave human rights violations and abuses committed by all parties to the armed conflict. Four people were brought before the Special Criminal Court for crimes under international law. Sexual and gender-based violence remained widespread. Around 2.4 million people were food insecure.


In January, the president declared that corruption must be curbed in view of dwindling state resources. In May, parliament adopted anti-corruption legislation.

In July a new constitution that could allow the president to run for a third mandate was approved by over 95% of voters in a referendum. The political opposition challenged the legality and fairness of the process.

Clashes between Coalition of Patriots for Change-affiliated armed groups and government forces, aided by their allies, continued. As of October, 504,992 people were internally displaced. The International Monetary Fund gave financial support as part of an overall USD 191 million aid plan to avert a humanitarian crisis.

Freedom of expression and assembly

In February, a journalist who wrote about corruption in the National Assembly fled the country while on parole, following threats from an unidentified source. He had been sentenced in 2022 to two years’ imprisonment and a hefty fine on charges of defaming the assembly’s first deputy chairman.

Another journalist was barred from parliament in March after he investigated alleged failures in the management of the assembly’s budget.

A third journalist was arrested and detained for six days in March, accused of working for a newspaper considered to be a dissident publication, and for which he no longer worked. In 2021, the government had blocked online access to the newspaper.

During the referendum campaign, opposition parties belonging to the Republican Bloc for the Defence of the Constitution organized a demonstration in the capital, Bangui, on 14 July. The authorities banned the protest on grounds of the security situation and the “subversive” nature of the demonstration. They threatened to “bring the offenders into line”.

Unlawful attacks and killings

According to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the human rights situation deteriorated, with an increase in violations and abuses committed by all parties to the conflict. MINUSCA recorded at least 103 summary executions between February and June carried out by the Central African army and armed groups. During the same period, 13 civilians working on a mining site in the village of Chingbolo, 25km from Bambari, were killed in an armed attack. The government blamed members of the Coalition of Patriots for Change who denied responsibility.

The UN said it recorded 75 attacks allegedly by armed groups against humanitarian workers or their property between January and June. At least 17 health centres were attacked and looted for which armed groups were believed to be responsible.

According to OCHA, by 31 August, 19 civilians, including 11 children had been killed in 54 incidents and accidents involving explosive devices.

Right to truth, justice and reparation

During the year, the Special Criminal Court (SCC), a UN-backed hybrid court mandated to investigate and prosecute crimes under international law and other serious human rights violations in the country since 2003, announced the arrests of four men accused of war crimes and/or crimes against humanity. They are Abdoulaye Hissène, former leader of the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic, Vianney Semndiro, a former head of the Central African Armed Forces, and two fighters from the Anti-Balaka group, Philemon Kahena and François Boybanda.

On 16 June, the court passed its first decision on reparation for victims in the trial against Issa Sallet Adoum, Yaouba Ousman and Mahamat Tahir, members of the Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation armed group (known as 3R). The defendants had been convicted in November 2022 of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the massacre of at least 46 civilians in 2019. In October 2023, they were ordered jointly and severally to pay compensation to the victims or their heirs.

In August, the SCC Assize Division heard the case of Kalité Azor and his co-defendants, all members of the Patriotic Rally for the Renewal of the Central African Republic armed group. They were handed over to the SCC in May 2020, accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Sexual and gender-based violence

The Gender-based Violence Information Management System recorded 5,928 cases of sexual and gender-based violence between January and May. Rape and sexual violence accounted for more than 40% of cases, and 95% of survivors were women and girls. In August, OCHA said that two people were subjected to such violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) every hour.

In June, the UN announced that its Office of Internal Oversight Services had collected evidence of rape, incriminating 11 Tanzanian peacekeepers deployed on a temporary base in western CAR. The 60 members of the alleged perpetrators’ unit were confined to base and later repatriated.

Right to food

According to UN figures, around 2.4 million people were food insecure, including 622,000 people who were living in an acute food insecurity situation due to the armed conflict, rising prices and floods, among other things. In November, 20% of the USD 303 million provided to CAR for humanitarian aid was earmarked for food security.

The International Rescue Committee said in April that CAR was increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of global warming, posing a threat to food security.