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Press release: Forecasts for the Central African Republic and three other countries released by civil society intelligence agency

LONDON, 20 February 2014: The violence in the Central African Republic is currently dominating news headlines, as have events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the past.

Some narratives have painted Central Africa as a region where conflict and insecurity occur naturally due to ethnic tensions and porous borders. In reality, the underlying sources and drivers of instability are critical to understanding events.

A timely new study from Open Briefing, Central Africa: Forecasts for Insecurity and Conflict in 2014, attempts to avoid generalisations by analysing specific factors and identifying forecasts for individual countries in the region.

Open Briefing is the world’s first civil society intelligence agency. They are a unique not-for-profit social enterprise providing intelligence and research services to civil society organisations and concerned citizens.

For the last six months, Open Briefing’s Africa desk has been developing specific forecasts for insecurity and conflict in individual countries in Africa over 2014. Separate reports for West, Central and Southern Africa will be published over February 2014.

Their intelligence team has exploited the most reliable datasets and deployed Open Briefing’s trademark data-driven, evidence-led analysis combined with expert experience in national and international politics and a thorough understanding of significant trends in African security. Using the cone of plausibility method and other analytical techniques borrowed from the intelligence community, analysts have developed baseline, plausible and wildcard scenarios for countries throughout Africa.

The synthesis report for Central Africa focusses on those countries whose drivers and internal volatility are likely to create substantial levels of insecurity and conflict over 2014. The report outlines the key findings for Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo.

Nick Branson, lead author of the report and a contributing analyst at Open Briefing, explained:

This report details the drivers of insecurity and conflict that pervade Central Africa, illustrating the challenges faced by civil society organisations operating there, and underlining the need to prepare for a range of different scenarios in 2014. The issues of note range from Burundi’s post-conflict political settlement, to prospects for peace in the Central African Republic.’

Chris Abbott, founder and Executive Director of Open Briefing, commented:

This study is a major accomplishment for Open Briefing, as it showcases our unique approach and the abilities of our analysts, while providing civil society, government and businesses with intelligence and forecasting that can inform their decision-making.’

Central Africa: Forecasts for Insecurity and Conflict in 2014 will be of interest to those working in the media, aid and development, African politics, peacebuilding, international business and anyone with an interest in what is happening – and what is going to happen – in Central Africa.

Download press release and notes to editors | Read synthesis report