Sudan Conflict Fuels Rebel Activities in Central African Republic, Says UN Report

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Conflict has extended to additional areas, such as Darfur, which shares a border with the northeastern Vakaga region of the Central African Republic.

The activities of armed groups in the volatile Central African Republic have escalated, creating a more complex security situation exacerbated by spill-over from neighboring Sudan, according to a recent report by U.N. experts.

The experts noted instances of Sudanese military conducting air raids along border regions and fighters from the Rapid Support Forces crossing over to recruit from local armed groups within the Central African Republic.

Sudan itself descended into conflict in mid-April 2023, triggered by longstanding tensions between military and paramilitary factions in Khartoum. The conflict has since spread to regions like Darfur, which shares a border with the Central African Republic's northeastern Vakaga region. The U.N. estimates casualties in Sudan to include over 14,000 deaths and 33,000 injuries.

The expert panel, tasked with monitoring sanctions on mercenaries and armed groups in the Central African Republic, reported that nearly 10,700 Sudanese refugees had sought shelter in the country by late March.

The conflict in Sudan has also disrupted trade and transportation routes, notably impacting the border at Am Dafok between the Central African Republic and Sudan's Darfur region.

In the Central African Republic's Vakaga and neighboring Haute-Kotto regions, insecurity has worsened over the past year, complicating humanitarian aid efforts which have become slower and costlier.

Despite its considerable mineral wealth, including gold and diamonds, the Central African Republic remains one of the world's poorest nations. Rebel groups have operated freely across the country for over a decade, hindering foreign mining exploration.

The country has been in turmoil since 2013, when rebels overthrew then-President Francois Bozize from power.

In a notable incident on December 10, 2023, six explosions were reported at a Russian instructors’ base in Kaga Bandoro in western Central African Republic, resulting in the deaths of three instructors and injuries to seven others, according to the experts' report.