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Chatham House: CAR conflict neglected

June 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

LONDON, June 7 (UPI) -- The rebel takeover in the Central African Republic is overshadowed by other high-profile African security challenges, a Chatham House analyst said.

The rebel Seleka toppled the government in CAR in March, forcing President Francois Bozize to flee to neighboring Cameroon. The rebel group is accused of committing crimes against humanity despite agreeing to a peace accord in January.

Alex Vines, director of African research at Chatham House, told the U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks the conflict in CAR wasn't getting enough attention from the international community.

"Its crisis is seen as a domestic crisis with some regional overspills, but less of a threat to international peace and security than Somalia, Sahel or eastern [Democratic Republic of] Congo," he said in an interview published Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama in late 2011 deployed 100 military advisers to the CAR to help military forces take on the militant Lord's Resistance Army. The evolution of al-Qaida in parts of Africa and fragile political developments elsewhere in the region has pushed the Seleka threat to the background.

"Seleka forces have proven to be ill-disciplined and predatory and a prime source of instability," Vines said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned last week the onset of the rainy season in CAR could make the situation worse.

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