World View: Mob Rule in Central African Republic as Christians Crave Revenge

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Mob rule in Central African Republic as Christians crave revenge
  • Egypt ponders the 98.1% 'yes' vote on new constitution referendum

Mob rule in Central African Republic as Christians crave revenge

Body burning, after being hacked to pieces on Sunday morning (Al-Jazeera)#
Body burning, after being hacked to pieces on Sunday morning (Al-Jazeera)#

On Sunday morning, a Christian mob in Bangui, the capital city of Central African Republic, lynched two Muslims, hacked them to pieces, and then burned their bodies in an act of rage. Scenes of this sort are being reported across CAR, but this one was different because there's a video of the act that's so horrifying that it's drawing worldwide attention. One Christian interviewed by the BBC says that his brother was killed last year by a Muslim, and now says, "If I see a Muslim go past, I will kill them myself."

Muslim Seleka militias began killing Christians last year, after a coup by Muslim leader Michel Djotodia. There were predictions last year of revenge by Christians. The international community forced Djotodia to step down earlier this month, in the hope that his doing so would quiesce the Christians, but that hope was in vain.

As I've been saying for several weeks, this is spiraling into a full-scale generational crisis war, despite increasingly desperate international efforts to prevent it. As I've explained several time, CAR's last generational crisis war was the 1928-1931 Kongo-Wara Rebellion ("War of the Hoe Handle"), which was a very long time ago, putting CAR deep into a generational Crisis era, where a new crisis war is increasingly likely.

The Kongo-Wara rebellion was nominally an uprising against the French colonialists, but it also had it share of the same kind of tribal violence that we are seeing today. After a crisis war like that ends, the survivors on both sides look back in horror at the acts that were perpetrated on both sides, and vow to devote the rest of their lives to making sure that nothing like that happens to their children or grandchildren. They succeed at that, but once the survivors have passed away, so that there's no one left with a personal memory of the last crisis war, then there's nothing to stop a new crisis war from starting, and that's what's happening now. United Nations and African Union peacekeepers will try desperately to put a lid on it, but nothing will stop it now.

In fact, young people in CAR today certainly have heard of the Kongo-Wara war, just as Americans have heard of WW II. But what do they know? Nobody's told them about the its horrors. What the Muslims know is that their great-grandfathers were war heroes because they killed thousands of French and Christians, while the Christians have heard that their great-grandfathers were even bigger heroes, because they slaughtered even more Muslims.

A BBC reporter made an interesting comment several days ago on the war in Central African Republic. He said that in the last few days the war has gotten worse, because it was now neighbor versus neighbor, rather than militia versus militia, as it had been previously. This is a characteristic of a generational crisis civil war, that people who lived together for decades as neighbors in peace and harmony, and even intermarried, suddenly burst into violence against each other. This is what happened in Rwanda in 1994 and in Bosnia in 1995.

This also provides some insight into what's happening in Syria. I haven't seen any reports of "neighbor versus neighbor" fighting, which would be characteristic of a crisis war. It's all been "militia versus militia" and "army versus civilians," which is characteristic of a non-crisis war that would end, if, for example, Russia stopped providing an unlimited supply of weapons to genocidal monster president Bashar al-Assad, who rains barrel bombs on innocent civilians every day, killing thousands of them every week with complete impunity.

Militia versus militia wars can go indefinitely, and indeed many of them do go on for decades, with violence alternating with peace agreements that turn out to be temporary.

But neighbor versus neighbor wars can't go on forever, because eventually you run out of neighbors. These are the crisis wars that reach an explosive genocidal climax, and then there's a peace through exhaustion. That's what's coming in Central African Republic, but we're a long way from that climax. BBC and Reuters

Egypt ponders the 98.1% 'yes' vote on new constitution referendum

There are no charges of election fraud in the 98.1% "yes" vote in the referendum over Egypt's new proposed constitution, but there's a lot of soul-searching going on as to where the country goes next, and a lot of questions about the next moves of army chief Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi. ( "19-Jan-14 World View -- Egypt's constitution approved by 98.1% of referendum voters")

Put simply, the turnout high "yes" vote, combined with the low turnout -- less than 39% of registered voters -- seem to indicate that a lot of people decided to vote "no" by not voting at all. Some are even calling the 98.1% victory "alarming," because it reflects the climate of intimidation that prevailed, targeting anyone who opposed the new constitution, forcing them to stay at home rather than to vote at all. There are several groups that are known to have boycotted or partially boycotted the vote:

  • Members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist group since the July 3 ouster of its leader, Mohamed Morsi, as president almost universally boycotted the election.
  • The Salafist party al-Nour is even more religiously conservative the Muslim Brotherhood, and therefore is as opposed to an MB dictatorship as anyone else is. They sided with al-Sisi and the pro-constitution forces, but appeared to have failed to rally their supporters for a "yes" vote.
  • The secular and liberal youth movements at the forefront of the original anti-Hosni Mubarak protests. They approved of Morsi's ouster, and they approved when the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization, but they were outraged when the military-backed authorities passed a law in November banning unauthorized demonstrations.
According to one youth activist:

"For us it is ironic that the constitution talks of freedom of speech and yet those who said no to the constitution have been jailed. For many this is a reminder of the previous Mubarak era regime."

Al-Sisi, who says that he will run for president only if there's a popular mandate, is wildly popular among those opposed to Morsi, but is reviled by Morsi followers. It turns out that the 98.1% "yes" vote does not mean that Egypt is a unified country. Combined with the 39% turnout, it means that Egypt is more angry and divided than ever. Daily News Egypt and Al-Ahram (Cairo) and AFP


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