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UN arms embargo on the Central African Republic

The UNSC has imposed an arms embargo on the Central African Republic (CAR) since 2013. It bans all supplies of arms and related materiel to the country except to the CAR security forces. The embargo is time limited but has been extended annually.

In December 2013 the UN Security Council adopted unanimously Security Council Resolution 2127 in response to the break down of law and order which saw increasing violence and widespread human rights abuses in the Central African Republic.

The resolution imposed several measures including a year long embargo on the supply of arms, military equipment and related assistance to non state actors in the CAR. Originally it allowed the supply of arms to the CAR security forces if approved in advance by the sanctions committee established by the resolution. 

The CAR Government argued for years that the requirement for advanced approval by the relevant UN sanctions committee for arms supplies to government forces posed a barrier to solving the country’s security crisis. In February 2019 the CAR Government signed a peace agreement with 14 non-state armed groups. Citing the agreement, the UN Security Council voted in September 2019 to amend the embargo by replacing the requirement for advance approval for weapons and ammunition to CAR security forces with a caliber of 14.5 millimetres or less with one that states that the UN sanctions committee has to receive an advance notification that details the types and numbers of the weapons being supplied, their purpose, the destination unit in CAR security forces and the intended place of storage.

The same move from approval to notification was made in July 2020 for mortars with a calibre of 60 mm and 82 mm, in July 2021 for rocket propelled grenade launchers and their ammunition and in July 2022 for any weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment. In 2022 it was decided to allow notification at any time before delivery, instead of a notification at least 20 days prior to delivery. 

In July 2023 all restrictions on arms supplies to the government security forces were lifted.

The embargo allows the supply of arms to UN authorized international military forces in the CAR.

The embargo has since 2013 been extended regularly and is currently in force until 31 July 2024.

Last updated on
Embargo type: Mandatory UN embargoes
Entry into force:
Establishing document: UNSCR 2127