Magazine article New African

The Article Sent to the International Media: Halting the Central African Republic's Descent into Hell

Magazine article New African

The Article Sent to the International Media: Halting the Central African Republic's Descent into Hell

Article excerpt

The world is marking the 20th anniversary of the worst genocide seen in Africa since the end of colonialism--the Rwanda pogrom that began on 6 April 1994.

This was so horrendous that it has irretrievably robbed every African of part of his or her dignity as a human being. Why then are Africans allowing the same thing to happen again in the Central African Republic?

Admittedly, there is an African Union force there already, helping the French to try and save the lives of people threatened by religious strife. But the number of troops is so woefully inadequate that the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, has had to call for an additional 3,000 troops.

Mr Ban Ki-moon's appeal comes in the wake of a violent conflict between Christians and Muslims which, in spite of the presence of the foreign troops, is still escalating.

There is little doubt now that the massacres were initially started by Muslim militias, known as the Seleka. Muslims only make up a minority of CAR's population, but after a coup in March 2013 that brought a self-appointed Muslim president, Michel Djotodia, to power, Muslims militias began to massacre Christians.

However, after ruling for less than a year, Djotodia, threatened with a regional-cum-international military intervention, resigned in January 2014. This served as an opportunity for Christians to reap vengeance on the Muslims.

As the massacres continued, the French ambassador to the UN, Mr Gerard Araud, was forced to confess to a UN meeting in New York on 15 January 2014, that the French had "underestimated the levels of hatred" between Christians and Muslims in the Central African Republic. Mr Araud admitted: "We knew there was some inter-sectarian violence, but we did not foresee such deep, ingrained hatred."

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This was an astonishing admission, for if any country should intimately know the situation in CAR, it is the French. Since CAR was granted Its "independence" by France in 1960, France has always been in the background, dictating the direction the country should take politically.

France first constructed a clandestine system of political manipulation in Africa, with President Charles de Gaulle's African "czar", Jacques Foccart, pulling the strings. The Foccart precedent has been followed by almost every other administration in Paris. …

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