Country Report Central African Republic August 1997 Main report

Summary--Central African Republic 3rd quarter 1997.

Outlook for 1997-98: Peace and stability will remain elusive unless the president, Ange-Felix Patasse, commits himself to agreed reforms of the military. The adoption of structural adjustment policies will also be important, as many of the government's problems with the army and civil service were triggered by complaints over salaries. Donors, however, have little confidence in Mr Patasse, and without their assistance, economic recovery will be all the more difficult.

Review: Tensions between the government and mutinous soldiers have ebbed and flowed in recent months, including reconciliation initiatives, the collapse of the national unity administration and finally a concerted offensive against the rebels by the multinational African peacekeeping force based in Bangui. France indicated its exasperation over events in its former colony by choosing to concentrate defence cuts on its bases in the CAR. While the political turbulence has affected the economy in general and donor confidence in particular, farmers have benefited from improved prices for the CAR's main exports, coffee and cotton. The framework agreements has been signed for an EU aid package for seven countries in the region.

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