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Research Report


Angela Meyer
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2008
Published by: Egmont Institute
Pages: 38
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 3-6)
    Angela Meyer

    In March 2008, the ten Heads of State of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) met in Kinshasa for an extraordinary summit to address the escalating tensions in Chad. In view of the repeated attacks from rebels against the government of President Idriss Déby and the series of combats in and around the capital of N’Djamena, the Community’s members expressed their concern about the ongoing instability in their partner country and the region and affirmed their support of the Chadian government. In this perspective, the member states’ political actors affirmed, once again, the regional process’ increased emphasis on...

  2. (pp. 7-12)

    Similar to most other African regions, the bases of the Central African regional cooperation processes can be traced back long before the 1990’s. Initially, they had been launched with the aim of enhancing intraregional trade and exchange and promoting economic development. After years of stagnation, the comeback of regionalisation in Central Africa during the 1990’s has been marked by a significant review of the main organisations’ agendas and a broadening towards security concerns.

    Even if CEMAC is often presented as a relatively young community, created in 1994 by Cameroon, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville and...

  3. (pp. 13-16)

    It is possible to relate the decision of the states to resume and diversify their cooperation on the regional level to four major events and developments: first, to the global economic developments, second to the states’ raising awareness of their weakness and powerlessness as single actor to provide security, third to the increasingly obvious transnational dimension of security and related threats, and fourth to the post-Cold-War international (and continental) context.

    At the moment of their establishment, the central objective of the Central African regional communities had been a clearly economic one. UDEAC, and later on CEMAC, and ECCAS were all...

  4. (pp. 17-24)

    The way the Central African national political actors have chosen to respond to this increased need to address security also on the communitarian level raises a couple of problems. Analysing these problems allows to shed light on the underlying prior motivations of Central African national political leaders and hence their essential expectations towards regional cooperation and the new security orientation.

    This, in turn, seems indeed crucial for addressing the initial question why the present contribution of regional cooperation towards enhancing and promoting stability and security in a sustainable way has been rather limited in Central Africa.

    A first problem is...

  5. (pp. 25-34)

    In summary, it is possible to emphasize three main characteristics of the Central African regional approach that can explain why the contribution towards sustainable security has been considerably unimportant so far.

    First, the principal aim being not regional integration but regional intergovernmental cooperation, the Central African security engagement is supposed to primarily strengthen and support the member states’ governments through multinational forces and common defence mechanisms and to rebuild their weak and insufficient capacities. It is conceived by the states’ representatives as a way to protect their interests, to support political allies and to mutually confirm sovereignty and authority if...