A man gestures in front of a burning barricade during a protest against French soldiers in Bambari, May 22, 2014.
Goran Tomasevic / Courtesy Reuters

The current conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) is only the latest expression of an uninterrupted series of military, political, and humanitarian crises that have plagued that country since 1997. In that time, 13 regional and international peacekeeping operations have been organized to quell violence and restore stability. They have been conducted by individual states, such as France; ad hoc coalitions; and regional and international organizations, including the African Union (AU), the Economic Community for Central African States (ECCAS), the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), and the UN. None of these patchwork interventions provided a sustainable solution to the crisis.

The recent escalation of violence in CAR has offered another occasion for peacekeeping. But the upcoming mission, to be led by the UN, seems fated to repeat mistakes of its predecessors. Financial resources and troop numbers appear insufficient; it is questionable whether the mandate will be suited to address

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  • MARTIN WELZ is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Konstanz. ANGELA MEYER is board director of the Organisation for International Dialogue and Conflict Management.
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