Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Central African Republic: Sectarian genocide?

with 12 comments

 

The UN has warned that the Central African Republic is heading toward a humanitarian disaster, as people fleeing conflict between Muslim and Christian militias pack into overcrowded camps with poor sanitation. Paul Wood in the capital, Bangui, reports on fears that sectarian violence will end in genocide.

Men armed with knives and clubs were striding down the dirt road, purposefully. They were Christians and they had discovered that one of our drivers was a Muslim.

BBC

Let us be clear on this: it was the Muslim militia   Séléka which began this turmoil.

Michel Djotodia the founder of this group, and President, is reported, Le Monde, to be leaving.

Let everybody be clear on this, this group, which comes from the 15 per cent of the population in the country who are Muslims tried to impose themselves on the majority.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Being the decent you are, I think you have made a career out of apologising for small groups imposing their will on the majority.

    And seriously, when you say something is clear it is in fact full of shit.

    Socialism in One Bedroom

    January 9, 2014 at 6:45 pm

  2. I don’t know what the answer is for these tribal, subsistance farming societies where there are entrenched religious antagonisms. The text book answer may be perhaps to argue for ‘self-defence’ and ‘arming the workers’. I noted that Sunnis in Iraq who tried to stand up to al-Quaeda were assassinated to discourage any rebellion. Political appeals would probably fall on deaf ears. What these countries need are socialist governments, real socialist not just in the pocket of the Soviet Union (as was). Ready to institute land reform and educational reform, etc. But, that’s probably wishful thinking.

    Sue R

    January 9, 2014 at 10:39 pm

  3. Your both wrong. Some countries simply either exist because of the colonial power which drew the boundaries and imposed order or because of dictatorships which impose order. This is true of much of Africa south of the Sahara.

    Interesting book reviewed on page 32 of today’s Guardian supplement for Jewish book week concerning Norwich. ” Into The Light. The Medieval Poetry of Meir of Norwich” looks interesting. there is some way of viewing the debate on line which you can see.

    themadmullahofbricklane

    January 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

  4. I was careful to restrict my comments to one point about the role of the militia in this.

    There is a detailed discussion of this issue which makes any more comprehensive judgement hard to make: Jours d’après-guerre au Congo
    Polémique sur les massacres
    par Michel Galy, janvier 2014

    http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2014/01/GALY/50015

    Andrew Coates

    January 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm

  5. I forgot to mention that the role of vast wealth is also import in all these wars. As Africa finds itself sitting atop mineral reserves that people are quite literally prepared to kill for, there are bound to be struggles to seize it by various interest groups, colonial or local. The only answer is for political control and participation by local people and the use of the wealth for the enrichment of all; a utopian position I grant. Yes, these boundaries were drawn by colonial powers, let’s face it, the nation state is an capitalist, bourgois concept which didn’t exist before the Europeans pitched up on African shores. Having set up such states however, the local elites are remarkably resistant to dismantling them. I see Japan and China are falling out over Africa now and inveigling influence.

    Will have look at that review, my brother lives in Norwich and I am rather fond of it and am aware of the Jewish history in Norwich ie the 12th century massacre.

    Sue R

    January 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm

  6. I tried to find that Guardian supplement, but the machine wouldn’t let me. I did, however, find a website ‘Literary Norfolk’ that (probably) covered most of the ground. It even gave a link to one of his poems, a liturgical one about ‘Light’. It also mentioned the murder of William of Norwich, a 12 year old boy who was found butched in the twelfth century and the Jews were blamed, Arnold Wesker wrote a play about it. I have always thought that this must be the incident upon which Chaucer based ‘The Nun Prioress’ Tale’ where local Jews fed up with hearing a beautiful Christian boy walking along the road singing the praises of Christ, kill and dismember him. The corpse then miraculously is able to tell the towns folk who killed him. I don’t think it’s historical somehow! The site mentions Wesker’s play about it, but neglects to mention another play about Jews in Norfolk. The third play of his famous trilogy ‘I’m talking about Jerusalem’ is set in a commune in Norfolk after the Second World War.

    Sue R

    January 10, 2014 at 10:45 pm

  7. Yes exactly: it’s complex, that’s why I referred to an article about the Congo: there are mountains of studies to assimilate.

    Andrew Coates

    January 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm

  8. The Nun Prioress’ Tale is pretty horrible.

    Andrew Coates

    January 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

  9. Some ignoramus said,

    “I don’t know what the answer is for these tribal, subsistance farming societies”

    Then why waste time providing a comment?

    The ignoramus continues,

    “where there are entrenched religious antagonisms.”

    Not true.

    The ignoramus goes on,

    “The text book answer may be perhaps to argue for ‘self-defence’ and ‘arming the workers’”

    So who ‘arms’ the workers and if you are taking about a society divided along religious lines, which group of workers do you arm or do you arm them all so they can all kill each other. But back to the original point, who does the arming?

    The ignoramus still waffles,

    “I noted that Sunnis in Iraq who tried to stand up to al-Quaeda were assassinated to discourage any rebellion.”

    A total fabrication.

    When will the ignoramus shut up,

    “Political appeals would probably fall on deaf ears.”

    You don’t know that.

    Please stop ignoramus,

    “What these countries need are socialist governments, real socialist not just in the pocket of the Soviet Union (as was).”

    No, they need socialist governments in advanced nations, and hopefully then they will not be simply fodder for imperialist interests, and will be able to develop the productive forces to a point where socialism becomes an objective necessity.

    Oh I give up,

    “Ready to institute land reform and educational reform, etc. But, that’s probably wishful thinking.”

    I was about to say how far from materialism you were but thankfully you recognised this in you final words!

    The South Korean company Daewoo were poised to grab half the arable land in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the purpose of selling food back to South Koreans! But at least they send girls to school right! They already have a million hectares in North Sudan.

    The advanced, enlightened nations are in a land grab in Africa and all Coates can do is spout off about Muslims! You have the same preoccupation as the far right and like them miss the bigger picture.
    .

    Socialism in One Bedroom

    January 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm

  10. Your solipism in staying in your bedroom (or should that be onamis,?) is very invigorating. When did I say that there were not material forces at work in these situations?

    Sue R

    January 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm

  11. ‘onanism’.

    Sue R

    January 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm

  12. Anyway, what you have written supports my argument. The people of DRC need a political response to the problems of exploitation facing them. Who negogiated with the Koreans? What did they get out of it? How are/were they held accountble to the Congoese (both the contracting parties)? I would love there to be socialist governments in advanced nations, but I think the political question has to be raised in the absence of same, how are these neo-colonial nations to act politically. I think it is perfectly legitimate to raise that question.

    Sue R

    January 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm


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