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The crisis in Bangui: the challenges of reconstruction in a context of population displacement

As part of the conference, “From cities in crisis to crises in cities: towards a collaborative urban humanitarian response”, organised by IIED in London on 15 and 16 November, Groupe URD will be presenting its research on Bangui. This work showed how, in a city made up of stabilised neighbourhoods and unintegrated areas, operations that do not take the pre-crisis situation into account can create new urban imbalances, or even new crises. This analysis is based on the crisis of 2013 and the difficulties of the subsequent reconstruction.

The national context which remains very unstable today, with a deteriorating situation in the regions and a growing number of conflict zones, could indeed lead to a new outbreak of violence in Bangui if return programmes and the reconstruction do not take a certain number of issues into account. Inter-disciplinary and cross-cutting approaches are essential to understand the context and take action. It is necessary to abandon a purely humanitarian and sector-based approach and start working with the city institutions and the technical ministries again because a capital city cannot be managed in the same way as just any conurbation.