The newest victim in the race for superiority is one of the poorest countries on the planet, The Central African Republic. In the last few years the country’s crisis has escalated to unbearable heights. Since its independence from the French in 1960, CAR as it is called has muddled through poverty, joint lowest life expectancy, harsh living conditions and eight coups. Why and how did a country with large beds of diamond mines end up in the genocidal swamp? The irony of the situation is it is complicated yet simple.
Central African Republic’s present crisis began a year ago when the Christian President was ousted by Seleka Muslim Militia and nominated its boss as the next CAR President. Muslim Militia is aided by groups from neighboring Sudan that has been an Al Qaeda safe house for a long time. A few months ago Muslim President Michel Djotodia disbanded the Seleka Militia group and called for harmony among all religious groups in CAR but, the country’s Christian groups thought otherwise. They formed a Christian Militia called Anti Balaka, claiming that the President is a Muslim de facto. In the past year they had already driven ten percent of the population (mostly Muslims) out of CAR.
Leaders of the Anti Balaka say the Central African Republic has been a Christian majority ruled society from the beginning and it should remain that way. Well then this crisis is Christians Vs. Muslims, yet another religious conflict isn’t it? Though ruthless religion is playing a part in this conflict like it has in most others, the Central African Republic crisis is a bit complicated than that. The local experts affirm it is more of a political and economic war than a religious one, and also warn the west that if they assume it as religious, it would create a dichotomy and deter the peacekeeping process in CAR.
France treats West and Central Africa as its right and back yard. Most of the countries of that region have been French colonies and were inflicted with the lingo by their imperial master. The French government still bosses Central African Republic with a permanent Military base among other atrocities. The common query is where are the United Nations? Hello United Nations, wake up. If one saw the picture perfect Hotel Rwanda, one knows the answer. The film brilliantly bottled the most important bits of the Rwanda genocide in which, the miserable capitulation of the United Nations and the cynical asininity of the French are brought to light. Flummoxed? United Nations, the proclaimed global peacekeeping organization has been in deep meditation since its founding and the proofs are the lasting crime marks that can be found in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cyprus, North Korea, Darfour in Sudan, Somalia and in many other places across the globe. The unsung heroes are the local and international NGO, often the first ones to the rescue of the needy in many conflict zones
Two simple and important questions the United Nations failed to address around the world since its existence are religion and totalitarianism. In all honesty, there is no difference between the two; together they are the merchants of war. The great British Labor politician Aneurin Bevan once threw a blinder at the ruling party in the House of Common during Cyprus crisis, “Has her Majesty’s government considered whether they want a base in Cyprus or Cyprus as a base.” The same question perfectly fits in the case of the Central African Republic; the UN ought to put that same to France and the Arab powers. They have a history of meddling in the region for diamonds and strategic goals.
The global community needs to step up the long overdue aider and amour to the Central African Republic people. Often described as the forgotten crisis, disarmament of Anti Balaka and Seleka militia is a major step to halt ethnic cleansing and bring peace back to the country that is currently on life support.
Opinion By Vikas Vemuri