Central African Republic: France Has Another Mess to Clean Up

central african republic

Hundreds of rebels entered the Central African Republic (CAR) capital Bangui on Sunday, accusing President Francois Bozize of failing to honour a peace deal. 

The Central African Republic has known little but coups, rebellions, and poverty since it gained independence from France in 1960 and it doesn’t look like things are going to change.

Rebels took hold of the capital, ousting President Francois Bozize. The rebels, who call themselves Seleka, joined a power-sharing government in January but the deal quickly collapsed and now they are angry that their demands have not been met.

The invading rebels met little resistance from both from the country’s military and troops from the region who had been sent to bolster the government (although thirteen South African troops died trying). Apparently President Bozize was wary of having a large army in case they overthrew him in a coup. I guess that plan backfired because the now-ousted Bozize fled the country in fear,  seeking temporary refuge in Cameroon.

France, CAR’s former colonial kingpin, called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and has sent 300 soldiers to Bangui from Gabon to back up the 250 it already has. France’s main/sole priority is to protect French citizens and the French Embassy.

Will Seleka restore law and order to the capital? Doubtful. Central African Republic’s new leadership already appears fragmented, with a split emerging in the rebel coalition. The rebels are attempting to difuse international criticism by pledging to name a power-sharing government. But as things stand now, the region is in chaos and Seleka’s leaders are struggling to control their men.

France has already indicated they wouldn’t intervene in the internal affairs of the country. But they said that about Mali too… Maybe they’ll just ‘pull a Mali’ and wait around until things get worse.

Via: Reuters

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