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Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Central African Republic

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1998
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Central African Republic, February 1998, available at: [accessed 24 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Reverberations of last year's mutiny and continued political strife plagued the Central African Republic this year. The Inter-African Mission to Monitor the Implementation of the Bangui Agreements (MISAB), a United Nations-authorized African peacekeeping force, was stationed in the country's capital, Bangui, to restore peace and oversee the implementation of key provisions of an African-brokered accord to end the recurring cycle of political, military, and ethnic violence.

The private print media suffered little direct government interference compared to previous years. At least a dozen newspapers publish with varied regularity. The state dominates the broadcast media, and the only licensed private radio stations air music or religious programming.

The primary threat to press freedom is an inefficient and compromised judiciary which, despite constitutional obligations, does not adhere to the principles of due process. The fate of the newly created government appeared uncertain as nine opposition party ministers resigned in protest over the domination of President Patasse's Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People (MLPC) and allied parties. The ministers rejoined the national unity government in August following an agreement between President Patasse and 11 opposition parties. Parliamentary elections are set for August 1998, and presidential elections will be held in 1999.

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