The Central African Republic is one of the toughest places to live in the world. Since the start of a civil war in 2013, a total of 14 different warring militias now control parts of the country. The central government governs little but the capital Bangui. The United Nations says the country has the lowest level of human development in the world.

Conflict over control of diamond mines and other natural resources has helped fuel the conflict, and a U.N. peacekeeping mission has failed to halt the violence. Into the fray has jumped Russia, which has signed a new defense pact with C.A.R.’s government and appears to be gaining access to gems and minerals in return.

Russia’s involvement was spotlighted by the recent killing of three Russian journalists investigating Russian mercenary activity in the C.A.R..

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the crisis in the Central African Republic.


Joining the program:

  • Catherina Wilson, C.A.R. researcher and PhD student, University of Leiden
  • Elise Rousseau, diamond industry researcher and PhD student, University of Namur
  • Kiril Avramov, research fellow at the University of Texas’s Intelligence Studies Project

Assistant producers: Kris Croonen, Tatum Pugh, Melodie Zhao

Supervising producer: Yanqi Xu

Visual editor: Maggie Duncan