The Context

At the height of the 2013 Violence, an interim government was put in place. Then two things happened. The Security Council gave the country less than six months to conduct elections, while the EU held a much publicized Pledging Conference and announced that they had advanced EUR 500 Million to CAR.

Both of these statements caused more crisis for country that had had 53 Governments in nearly as many years. The Security Council was merely stamping its authority with an no understanding of the context of the country, relying on the old traditional agreement among European countries that France always has the final say on anything that happens on its former colonies.

The EU, while claiming to have given the Country EUR 500m, had in fact raised only EUR 200m. And the funds were not advanced to CAR. Instead they went to International NGOs and the UNOCHA. This simple misstatement of facts nearly led to an internal coup by the interim army who had not been paid for months. It paralyzed public services when public servants demanded to know how EUR 500m given by the EU had not reached the Government.

The Response

Africa Platform took this case as a violation of the rules that govern a Social Contract. The Donors had lied, and the security council had acted out of context, while the INGOs had become a stumbling block to the Social contract by acting as sole intermediaries. Africa Platform took the matter to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), France and the Security Council. We challenged both DAC and the OECD on the application of their own principles of Do NO Harm and Taking Context at the Starting Point. We challenged the Global Partnership on Development Effectiveness on their violation of the Principle of local ownership.

The Outcome

  • Accountability

    The EU had to issue a clarification on the exact amount and how it was used.

  • Unity

    The Security Council ended up giving CAR over two years to conduct elections. Despite several challenges, this small gesture has been central to securing the peace in the country.

  • Seeking Change

    While France has been exposed for how it controls its former colonies, France refuses to change its rules of engagement. And the OECD still maintain the unwritten rule that gives France the final say over its former colonies in Africa.