For decades, the Central African Republic (CAR) has experienced violence, economic stagnation, and institutional failure. The latest wave of violence erupted in 2001 and continues to this day in some areas. Yet despite this, there has been little attention to the conflict and even less research to document and quantify the conflict’s human cost.
Building Peace, Seeking Justice
In the fall of 2009, HRC researchers conducted a population-based study in the Central African Republic (CAR) to study the population’s priorities and needs, exposure to violence, security, and transitional justice, among other things. The resulting report, Building Peace, Seeking Justice: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Accountability and Social Reconstruction in the Central African Republic, provides a clearer understanding of the scope and magnitude of the conflict, as well as the association between exposure to violence and traumatic events with self-reported physical and mental health status.
Research from the study has shown:
- Mortality rates averaged 4.9 deaths per 1,000 people per month, a level 3 to 5 times higher than the average for sub-Saharan Africa, and among the highest in the region.
- 81 percent said they had to flee their homes since 2002.
- 67 percent said they had been threatened with death.
- 11 percent reported having been abducted.
- 16 percent said they had been coerced to work with armed groups and sometimes forced to commit violence.
Read the UC Berkeley News press release.
The report was generously supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Below is their video about our work, “The Human Toll of Violence in the Central African Republic.”
Patrick Vinck and Phuong N. Pham, “Outreach Evaluation: The International Criminal Court in the Central African Republic,” International Journal of Transitional Justice 4, no. 3 (November 2010): 421–42.
Patrick Vinck and Phuong N. Pham, “Association of Exposure to Violence and Potential Traumatic Events with Self-Reported Physical and Mental Health Status in the Central African Republic,” Journal of the American Medical Association304, no. 5 (August 4, 2010): 544–52.