World View: France Says Central African Republic Has Totally Collapsed

World View: France Says Central African Republic Has Totally Collapsed

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Rwandans leave Catholic churches for evangelical churches
  • UN Security Council approves 11,800 peacekeepers for Central African Republic
  • France’s Ambassador: Central African Republic has totally collapsed
  • Israel imposes sanctions on the Palestinian Authority

Rwandans leave Catholic churches for evangelical churches

This week, Rwanda and the United Nations are commemorating the 20thanniversary of the start of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, when majorityHutus tortured, burnt, raped, mutilated and killed over 800,000 of theminority Tutsis over a six month period. The commemoration speecheshave been assigning blame, most often to the former colonial powers,France and Belgium. The criticisms of France were so harsh, thatFrance chose not to send a representative to Rwanda for the ceremony.

Rwanda is 50% Catholic and 40% Protestant, but those percentages maybe changing because many Rwandans blame the Catholic Church and theVatican for complicity in the genocide, and are abandoning theCatholic Churches for new evangelical churches that have arisen sincethe genocide. The new evangelical religions were brought back toRwanda by refugees returning from Uganda and Democratic Republic ofCongo, where they were already established.

On Monday, the representative of Rwanda to the commemoration ceremonyaccused members of the Catholic Church of “covering up their criminalactions” during the genocide. In particular, Rwanda is still dottedwith the ruins of Catholic churches where the Tutsi sought shelter,but were massacred by the Hutus within the church, sometimes withmembers of the clergy acting in complicity with the killers. AFP and 7sur7(Trans)(Belgium)

UN Security Council approves 11,800 peacekeepers for Central African Republic

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday unanimously approvedthe creation of a peacekeeping force for the Central African Republic.There are already 2,000 French troops and 6,500 African Union troopsin CAR. The troops will be deployed on September 15. Violencebetween Christians and Muslims has been increasing, leading officialsto fear a repeat of the bloody Rwanda genocide in 1994. CNN

France’s Ambassador: Central African Republic has totally collapsed

Gerard Araud, France’s ambassador to U.N. was interviewed on the BBCon Thursday, after the Security Council approval of deploying troopsto the Central African Republic. In CAR, the Muslim Seleka militiaswere committing atrocities last year. The French troops disarmed theSeleka militias, but then the Christian anti-balaka militias “rushedinto the vacuum” and began committing atrocities this year, forrevenge. Araud was asked why the deployment is being delayed untilSeptember 15, in view of all the atrocities that are occurring, andwill continue to occur. He responded that the country has collapsedand will to be rebuilt, which will take a long time, possible years(my transcription):

“Unfortunately, you know, we are facing a verychallenging situation, which means that I should say, even if wehave 12,000 soldiers, I’m not sure that actually the atrocitieswill cease.

What does it mean? It means that law and order have totallycollapsed in this country. There is no police, no gendarmes, noprisons. We are not facing any sort of identifiable enemy. Weare facing thugs. We are facing bandits, who are killing, rapingand looting. So what we have to do is — it’s long term efforts– which means to restore, rebuild a state, and an administrationin the country.

[[Question: There are some who say that the French strategy at thebeginning, when the troops there targeting Seleka, were the wrongones. They should have been there to try and stabilize both sidesin the conflict, instead of targeting one group.]]

In the beginning, when we arrived in the 5th of December, the twonights before our arrival hundreds of people were killed by theSeleka. And on the other side, there was no anti-balaka, youknow. So the absolute urgency in December was to disarm theSeleka, which had committed these atrocities.

What happened was when we had disarmed the Selekas, suddenly theanti-balakas which were not there suddenly rushed into the vacuum,so after that, we had to shift our positions to disarm theanti-balaka, and that’s what we have been doing.

But there’s a difference. The Seleka are armed groups which areorganized, which were possible to disarm and contain. Whileanti-balakas basically are civilians – it’s very difficult todisarm them.

[[Question: Do you believe that this peacekeeping force is thesolution to stabilizing the CAR. We’re looking a country that hasno proper administration, a country that has no proper army, so tospeak. Is this the solution?]]

You know, there is no army — it’s not “so to speak” — there isno army, there is no police, there are no gendarmes. The countryhas totally collapsed. On one side, the peacekeeping operationwill restore a modicum of law and order, but again, I’m prettyaware that there will be still crimes after the force is deployed.

We are engaging to a long term endeavor, which is to rebuild CAR,to rebuild prisons, police, gendarmerie, and to rebuild anadministration. So frankly it will be long. And CAR will needeverybody – the UN agencies, but also the bilateral donors, likeFrance or the U.S. There is no quick peace.”

The timeline is interesting to me. The French forces arrived onDecember 5, and it was just a week later, on December 12, that I wrote Christian revenge attacks on Muslims increase in CAR, and I speculated, based on a Generational Dynamicsanalysis, that the conflict was spiraling into a full-scalegenerational crisis war.

Israel imposes sanctions on the Palestinian Authority

As the Mideast “peace talks” have been collapsing, Israel andthe Palestinians have been taking tit-for-tat retaliationsteps against each other. The Israelis blocked the scheduledrelease of 26 Palestinian prisoners, and the Palestinianshave applied to join 15 international organizations as thestate of Palestine.

On Thursday, Israel imposed economic sanctions on the PalestinianAuthority. Israel will withhold taxes collected on behalf of thePalestinians, and limit their access to bank deposits in Israel.Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has condemned the move as

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Rwanda, France, Belgium, Vatican,Catholic Church, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo,Central African Republic, Seleka, anti-balaka, Gerard Araud,Israel, Palestinian Authority, Saeb Erekat
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