Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Time-Warp of the Central African Republic


It seems most regions where foreign interventions take place these days are in a time-warp, such as the Central African Republic.

France, which needs its prestige and allies at the United Nations, will quickly have more troops and tanks on the ground to at least stabilize the capital Bangui, and certain other troublespots where its troops already have outposts. The self-regulated Pax-Africana is still very elusive, so Francafrique it is again.



Central African political figureheads, however little power they have, are pleased with this intervention, which could put a stop to the neighbor on neighbor machete religion-fanatic-fueled violence, and new coup attempt to top the previous coup in the making.

There will be a new powerless leader elected in accelerated elections, probably just as bad as the previous ones, as CAR becomes ever moreso a basketcase with more corruption due to more outside money and rebels and bandits lurking at every corner.

One wonders, could all this have been avoided if France and the international community didn't so eargerly accept Francois Bozize's past overthrow of the late Ange-Felix Patasse, who curious as he was, did have somewhat of a popular mandate. What about France once backing then backing away from Jean-Bedel Bokassa who gave himself the title of emperor, which was at one point recognized by diamond-hungry French leaders?

One can also remember that former Congolese warlord and vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba (with a photo I took of him and journalist David Lewis) is forever awaiting a Hague trial on charges related to past CAR violence, a country surrounded by so many other unstable, rebel and refugee-filled countries.

I once also did a report related to that violence, which prompted a call from ICC investigators, who really should do their own field work.



As CAR was cooking today before Nelson Mandela's death took over the frenzied coverage, editors wrote headlines from afar, the twitterers expressed outrage, photographers took gory pictures, people pontificated about the word genocide, about France's role, waning or lifted, it's a really repetitive scenario.



I once did a mini-documentary about parts of the CAR called "Guns in All Hands" showing what happens in a mafia driven state with no law and order.


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