Over a span of more than six years, Russia’s influence in Africa increased significantly, growing from a presence in just four countries in 2015 to encompassing 25 by 2021, including a notable involvement in the Central African Republic (CAR). In the CAR, Russia emerged as a key player, operating alongside fourteen armed factions, United Nations peacekeeping forces, and the local military. Moscow’s engagement primarily revolves around security and military diplomacy, offering significant benefits, while China is heavily invested in various developmental initiatives. This analysis delves into the motives, interests, and approaches of Russia and China within the CAR.
The primary aim of this research is to deepen understanding of the roles played by Russia and China in the CAR, a region where armed groups dominate around 60% of the territories rich in natural resources. The aggressive actions of these groups, combined with Russia’s pragmatic approach in the region, have hindered the peace process, leading to direct conflicts between the major power and these factions. Such clashes have intensified the geopolitical tension between France and Russia regarding the CAR. The study concludes that Russia and China are likely to engage in more intense rivalry over the CAR’s resources, which may adversely affect the region’s peace and stability.
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