Who is a Civilian? Perceptions of “Civilianness” in the Central African Republic

Citation: Sutton, R. (2019). Who is a Civilian? Perceptions of “Civilianness” in the Central African Republic (IOW Policy Brief). San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy: European University Institute.

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This brief was prepared for the Individualization of War Project at the European University Institute, and presents the preliminary findings of field research conducted in the Central African Republic (CAR) on how different civilian actors are perceived in the context of the current UN-led mission, MINUSCA. The discussion is based on fieldwork carried out by the author in Bangui and the PK3 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) site in Bria during a three-week visit in April 2019. The research explores questions such as: who is perceived to be civilian in CAR; the civilian character of CAR’s IDP sites; how international actors—such as those working for MINUSCA or humanitarian organizations—understand the context in which they are operating; and competing views on the relevance of international (humanitarian) law.

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