Fighters from the rebel group “Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation” (3R) in De Gaulle, in the Koui sub-prefecture of the Ouham Pendé province, Central African Republic, on November 25, 2016.

This compendium contains much of Human Rights Watch’s research and reporting on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic between April 2016 and March 2017.
 

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On March 30, 2016, former Central African Republic Prime Minister Faustin-Archange Touadéra was sworn in as president after more than two years of an interim government. Despite the rare peaceful transition of power and relatively peaceful elections, the country remained insecure, unstable and beset by serious human rights violations.
 
Throughout 2016 and into 2017, sectarian violence and attacks on civilians continued in central and western regions of the country, most notably in the Ouaka, Nana-Grébizi, and Ouham-Pendé provinces where predominantly Muslim Seleka rebel groups, largely Christian and animist anti-balaka militias, and other armed groups remained active. Civilians continued to bear the brunt of the fighting, and armed groups raped and sexually assaulted women and girls. An estimated 467,800 people, the majority of them Muslim, remained refugees in neighboring countries and a further 384,300 remained internally displaced. 
 
The United Nations peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, deployed about 10,050 peacekeepers and 2,000 police across many parts of the country in 2016, but struggled to establish security in key areas and to sufficiently protect civilians.