In more than six years, Russia expanded its presence in Africa sevenfold, starting with four (4) countries in 2015 and reaching 25 by 2021, including the Central African Republic (CAR). In the CAR, Russia became a major actor alongside the fourteen (14) armed groups, the United Nations Blue Helmets, and the Central African Army forces. While Moscow is involved in security issues and military diplomacy with lucrative reward, China is engaged in several development activities. This study examines Russia’s and China’s motivations, interests, and strategies in the CAR. The authors use the New Scramble for Africa literature as their theoretical lens. The overall objective of this paper is to foster a greater understanding of Russia’s and China’s role in the CAR where armed groups control 60% of the resource-rich areas. The armed groups’ predatory activities and Moscow’s realist policy in the CAR derailed the peace process via direct confrontations between the great power and armed groups. These confrontations escalated the geopolitical rift between France and Russia over CAR. Our findings indicate that Russia and China will increasingly become engaged in strategic competition for the resources of CAR, with detrimental consequences for peace and prosperity in the CAR.
Key words: Russia, China, armed groups, minerals, Central African Republic, United Nations, New Scramble for Africa.
Copyright © 2023 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0