The group plans on regrouping its scattered fighters according to a spokesman [AFP]
|The Central African Republic’s former Seleka rebel coalition has appointed a new army commander and plans to regroup its scattered fighters, a spokesman has said, a move that could further deepen divisions in the war-torn country.General Joseph Zindeko was appointed army chief by a Seleka congress that gathered more than 500 officers and officials in Ndele, about 650km north of the capital Bangui, on Friday, Colonel Djouma Narkoyo said on Saturday.“The objective of the Seleka General Staff is to bring together all Seleka combatants and restructure because at the moment they are scattered,” Narkoyo told the Reuters news agency by telephone.He added that the coalition’s general staff would also decide on the creation of a political wing.
“We also want to better secure our area and protect people in the eight districts we control,” Narkoyo said.
The former French colony descended into chaos after the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March last year and their abuses against the majority Christian population set off a wave of revenge attacks, killing thousands.
Seleka leaders were forced to resign under international pressure in January, but Christian militias known as anti-Balaka have intensified attacks against Muslims.
Hundreds of Seleka rebels as well as Muslim civilians have fled Bangui and the south to the north and neighbouring countries, raising fears of a de-facto north-south partition of the country along religious lines.
In Bambari, a town near the dividing line separating the mainly Christian south and mostly Muslim north, which the rebels have chosen as their headquarters, many are advocating for a partition, although Seleka leaders are divided on the issue.
More than 2,000 people have been killed in the sectarian violence and another one million of the country’s 4.5 million people have been displaced despite the presence of several thousand African peacekeepers, European Union and French troops.
The United Nations has warned that the conflict could spiral into a genocide.
Mass Protests Grow Against French-backed Regime in the Central African Republic
Occupations by foreign forces has failed to stabilize troubled state
Discontent among the people with the French-imposed government in the capital of Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) has erupted in demonstrations by both the Muslim and Christian communities.
These developments are taking place amid the increasing deployment of foreign military forces mandated for peacekeeping operations by United Nations Security Council and other regional bodies.
The number of troops now occupying the CAR include a bolstered French force of 2,000 along with 6,000 personnel from regional African states (MISCA), European Union Forces (EUFOR) of 1,000 and the impending intervention of some 12,000 other soldiers under the rubric of the Security Council. Nonetheless, the minority Muslim community is still facing organized violence while more people are being forced out of Bangui and other cities across the country.
Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza was appointed after the forced removal at the aegis of Paris of the previous transitional leader Michel Djotodia in January. A Muslim, Djotodia came to power in March 2013 when Seleka Coalition rebels entered Bangui without any real opposition from French troops that were already maintaining a presence in the CAR.
Subsequent human rights violations against the Christian community during the rule of Seleka prompted reprisal attacks by the Anti-Balaka forces composed of armed youth who have been accused of attacking Muslim residents, their homes, mosques and businesses.
On May 30 people took to the streets of the capital protesting the deteriorating security situation. Earlier in the same week 17 people were killed in a church that was attacked while people were taking refuge in the building.
According to CNN,
“Hundreds also came out in the streets to protest against the international peacekeeping forces — French troops and the MISCA forces — whom they accuse of doing too little to protect the people. The unrest continued Friday. (May 30) The International Red Cross described the situation in Bangui as ‘fluid and somewhat chaotic.’ Its teams on the ground have received reports of injured people in the demonstrations but are still assessing the number of casualties, it said.” (May 30)
Foreign troops in efforts to control the demonstrations, which other sources report to have involved thousands of people, opened fire resulting in three demonstrators being killed by gunshot wounds. Rather than calming the situation, the deaths of the three people fueled anger and further unrest throughout the following week.
Text Messages Banned Amid Call for General Strike
Tensions escalated through June 6 when the current government issued a ban on text messaging. The blocking of the technology was done to minimize the impact of a call for a general strike in opposition to the government and the role of so-called peacekeepers.
In an article published by the London-based Guardian newspaper, it reports that “Mobile phone users in the CAR who try to send texts get the response:
‘SMS not allowed.’ Abdallah Assan Kadre, the communications minister issued a statement saying ‘On the instruction of the prime minister … in order to contribute to the restoration of security in the country, the use of SMS by all mobile-phone subscribers is suspended.’” (June 6)
Moreover, the Guardian continued by noting
“The clampdown came after a mass SMS (text message) was circulated urging a general strike in response to more than a year of conflict between Christian and Muslim militias that has killed thousands of people. An organization called Collectif Centrafrique Debout sent out the texts last weekend urging people to stay at home and demanding complete disarmament, especially of the PK5 Muslim neighborhood in the capital, Bangui.” (June 6)
Anti-French sentiment is growing both among the Christian and Muslim populations who have been bitterly divided by the present neo-colonial system of governance.
***France and other imperialist countries maintain mining interests in the diamond, gold and uranium sectors.***
On June 1 Prime Minister André Nzapayeke urged people to end the strike and mass demonstrations in order to return to work in the capital after several days of unrest that had virtually shut down Bangui. Nzapayeke also appealed for a voluntary national disarmament campaign where all residents were requested to hand in their weapons by June 8.
French troops were heckled by residents on June 7 and 8 in Miskine, a Christian-dominated area of Bangui. In Muslim neighborhoods chants of “No to France!” and anti-French insults are commonly shouted at the occupying forces. (AFP, June 6)
Noël Ngoulo, the Secretary General of Bangui University, was quoted by the AFP as saying that
“When they arrived, (French troops) we had hope that they were going to disarm the country. But as time has gone on, the population noticed that the disarmament was delayed. People are angry at the French because they have the impression that the mission objective has changed, from a mission of disarmament to one of simple intervention.” (June 6)
Recent events in the CAR illustrate that the deployment of troops from former colonial and present imperialist countries will only further destabilize the political situation in Africa. The United States has provided logistical and intelligence support to the French-led occupation of the CAR.
These foreign policy initiatives are being headed by the Pentagon through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) whose presence and influence is being strengthened and enhanced by the administration of President Barack Obama. African workers, farmers and youth will inevitably escalate their opposition to the western military interventions being carried out across the continent.
Photo: Goran Tomasevic/REUTERS./ Published: 05/22/2014 5:00:37
Bangui, 19 May 2006 (IRIN) – At least 3,000 people took to the streets of Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, on Friday in protest against escalating violence in the country; especially in the northwest where fighting between armed raiders and the army has left up to 70,000 civilians displaced.
“For sometime now, insecurity has continued unabated in the capital as well as in provinces, especially in the northwest region,” Noel Ramada, chairman of the country’s largest trade union, the USTC, said. “We want peace, not violence.”
The protestors carried banners that read: “No to Rebellion” and “No to Bad Governance”. They urged rebels and the government to stop the fighting and to work for peace.
From the second article: “France and other imperialist countries maintain mining interests in the diamond, gold and uranium sectors.”
The mining industry hasn’t been doing too well for a number of years – it won’t take the International Bankster Gangsters long to change it along with lots of land to be bought for pennies since they’re ensuring their tactics “Destabilization and Discontent”. An old, tried, and true tactic used by imperialist Elizabeth I over 500 yrs ago in Ireland followed by Cromell and on and on and on…the names and era changes but little else. These imperialial manopolists engineer – color-coded revolutions, “democratic” coup d’états, manufactured civil wars, apply economic sanctions, as the case may be. They always have a military option lurking in the background if this “soft-power” fails or proves insufficient which is why the French and/or NATO are present in CAR’s.
- Send foreign mercenaries into the victim state to foment ‘revolt’ (MC-> infiltrate peaceful protests).
- Provoke the victim state into using its armed forces to oppose the foreign invaders.
- Have the media present this lawful defensive action by the victim state as the cruel oppression of a dictatorship.
- Send your armed forces to complete the job of regime change.
- Establish a new puppet regime with a banking system consisting of a privately held central bank that issues currency on a debt basis, thus enslaving the population.