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Africa to France: We Want You Back


Facing sectarian violence and a collapsing state, the Central African Republic (CAR) is soliciting intervention from its former colonial master. In March, a coup led by the Muslim Seleka rebel group removed President François Bozizé from office. Since then, the predominately Christian country has seen intense, armed conflict between Muslim rebels and Christian militias. With more than 440,000 displaced, the people of CAR are calling on France to step in and calm the situation down. Reuters reports:

“Let’s make up with the mother that feeds us! President Hollande we want your help!” read one banner as cheering locals welcomed France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, to Central African Republic at the weekend.

“It is a problem of misery and poverty. It doesn’t cost a lot compared to what France spent to hunt down Islamists in a small part of Mali. With similar help, we would be okay for 40 years.” [said presidential spokesman Guy Kodégué]

The situation in CAR is one example of a storyline that is repeating itself in nations across Africa. The Christian-Muslim divide is generating economic and security breakdown, leading to calls for French intervention in a region where they were once reviled.

The US and France are sometimes unlikely partners, and here they share common concerns for the security situation across Africa. Though many of the issues tormenting the region aren’t religious in origin, local Muslim groups can easily be infiltrated by internationally connected and well-funded jihadis. This can quickly turn a local spat into a headache for everyone concerned about the phenomenon we are resolutely not calling the global war on terror. There is a long struggle ahead.

[Young people patrol with rifles near a house destroyed by fire on October 11, 2013 in Bogangolo (171 km from Bangui). Photo courtesy of Getty Images.]

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  • rheddles

    “The Christian-Muslim divide is generating economic and security breakdown…”

    Because they are equally culpable, at least to WRM.

    • Leah Keever

      Yes, those unreasonable Christians (much like Christians and Jews in the Middle East) cause all sorts of conflict by refusing to either convert to Islam or die quietly. I wish WRM would go live in one of those countries and become a good little Muslim. Unfortunately, he’s a hypocrite as are most Western leftists.

  • Atanu Maulik

    The white man’s burden.

    • Corlyss

      More like the civilized man’s burden.
      We have to stop being embarrassed about the colonial period. It was what people did in those days; the left should get over it. We need to stop being embarrassed about Western Civ’s dominance: it has been and is now the light of the world. People in the 3rd world are not clamoring to get to America and Europe because they are the “not-here.” They’re coming to participate in a freer life. Without Western Civ., there wouldn’t be any need to bother with the effort. They AREN’T clamoring to get into Russia, or Iran, or Afpakia, or North Korea. That would be trading one form of tyranny for another.

      • Martin Adamson

        You are absolutely correct. What happened in Africa during the 19th century was that the European imperial powers drove out an earlier imperial power – Islam. During the 1960s, all the European powers left. Africans are now confronted with the reappearance of Islam, their historical colonial power. Unsuprisingly, Africans prefer the colonial power that set them free from slavery to the one that is looking to reimpose it.

        • rheddles

          That’s why they didn’t call the Belgians.

          • Corlyss

            That would have been the wrong phone number anyway.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “we are resolutely not calling the global war on terror.”

    Why not? In fact let’s be even more specific and call it what it really is, “The Global War on Islamofascist Terror”, then everyone might actually be on the same page. Politically Correct leftist gobbledygook is stupid, and just confuses the problem prolonging the time to find a solution, and getting thousands of innocent people murdered.
    Aren’t their lives worth at least a little clarity?
    Isn’t anyone who engages in this obfuscation of all the Muslim inspired murder of innocent men, women, and children, culpable in their deaths?
    Accessory to Murder is a crime in every culture I know of, so why aren’t those people lying about who is really responsible for all this mass murder being prosecuted?

  • cubanbob

    Seriously arm the Christians and the Muslims will get the message.

  • Moneyrunner

    “… local Muslim groups can easily be infiltrated by internationally connected and
    well-funded jihadis. ” Not to be snarky, but WRM may want ot consider just why the adherents of the Religion of Peace can “easily be infiltrated by …. jihadis.” Could the Christians be infiltrated by equally violent say … Crusaders … intent on destroying the Muslims? You say there are no Crusaders? That the only ones working on spreading Christianity are unarmed missionaries? Is there something in the teaching of Islam that makes your normal Muslim want to harbor killers? Perhaps what we’re seeing in the Central African Republic is just a version of “workplace violence” that has nothing to do with Islam. After all, everyone knows that the average Muslim has exactly the same outlook on violence as the average Christian; the government, academia, the press and the popular media tells me so. Only nutcases are not convinced.

    • Dr. Wilhelm Ropke

      “You say there are no Crusaders? That the only ones working on spreading Christianity are unarmed missionaries?”

      – refer you to:

      “Since then, the predominately Christian country has seen intense, armed conflict between Muslim rebels and Christian militias.”

      Never heard militia and missionary used interchangeably, so maybe you should be more observant when trying to formulate a criticism.

      • Moneyrunner

        Are you saying that the “Christian” militias are made up of missionaries? Perhaps you can give me more information about specifically which denominations are sending out armed missionaries.
        I’m not surprised that people who are under attack may try to defend themselves, and according to the reports, Christians are under attack by Muslims. But to imply that Christians are the aggressors in this case is a lie and the suggestion that Christian missionaries are encouraging inter-religious warfare is a libel.
        Perhaps you should be more careful about make totally unsupported assertions.

        • Dr. Wilhelm Ropke

          In fact, what I was saying is that there is a HUGE difference between missionaries and militias. In the original comment, it was said that there are no “crusaders”, where VM clearly states that there are two militias comprised of both Islamic radicals and Christians, respectively. Both groups, in this case, are currently viewed as “rebels” as they are both inciting armed conflict. I certainly never made any “libelous” claims that Christians are the ones provoking violence, simply corrected the original comment pointing out that there are armed militias from both sides, and then there are the unarmed civilians, whom, as it happens, are predominately Christian. In fact, I didn’t see any mention of missionaries anywhere in the post, in the source article, or in any other recent journalistic piece that mentions CAR…

          • Moneyrunner

            I invite you to re-read my original comment which was on the subject of why “…local Muslim groups can easily be infiltrated by
            internationally connected and well-funded jihadis .”

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