Showing posts with label Central African Republic. Global South. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Central African Republic. Global South. Show all posts

Friday, December 06, 2013

A Very Overheated Religious War

The situation in the Central African Republic is simply terrible. Roving gangs of Christian extremists in the capital of Bangui have been targeting Muslim neighborhoods and wantonly killing people in the name of their God for retribution against Muslims gangs that have done the same. I'm not sure what God they worship but it certainly isn't the Christian one. Thou shall not kill, remember?

French troops are arriving in the coming days to hopefully keep the peace. They are also sending air support to hopefully quell any future uprisings. AP is reporting that the French are reluctantly going in which strikes me as complete bullshit as they are partly responsible for the situation on the ground. The CAR has never gotten over the Scramble for Africa. French meddling in the region created the power struggles that we see today. So, this is largely blowback from colonization over a century ago.

It's going to take a lot more than 1200 troops to stop what is now clearly genocide. The United Nations needs to have a robust and permanent presence there and the French need to invest far more resources (especially financial) than they are now. It's very quickly becoming too late and far too many people have died.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Failed State

Rebels have seized control of the Central African Republic and President François Bozizé has fled the country. They met little resistance as the country is one of the most impoverished in Africa.

Once again, a strong man who promised democratic elections has seen power slip away. This cycle has been repeated so many times since the great colonial push at the turn of the last century that it's pretty much routine at this point. As has been the case in the past, the people will end up suffering as the rebels will plunder and loot what little wealth there is in the CAR.

My question is this: what can the Global North do, if anything, to prevent things like this happening? Investment? Their heavy dependence on foreign aid has actually made things worse. We could also simply shrug and say, "Oh well. It's their country. If they fuck it up, so be it."

It seems to me, though, that in 2013 we can come up with a different paradigm and it starts with building a sustainable, free market economy there. France should be heavily involved as they are primarily responsible for leaving a power vacuum upon their exit. The country certainly has plenty of food crops on which it could build an agricultural market. The diamond trade could also be more heavily regulated as 30-50 percent of the country's diamonds leave under illegal circumstances. Improvements in their economy will lead to more democratic policies. Prosperity tends to do that.

Being a landlocked country presents a challenge, of course, but I think that the Central African Republic should be used as an example of moving forward in the Global South. With yesterday's events, I've now seen this film far too many times and it's clear we need to do something different.