Central African Republic: The Islamist Assault


On the 24th of March 2013, the Central African Republic (CAR) witnessed yet another coup d'état. President François Bozizé (who first got to power via a coup) was overthrown by Michel Djotodia, the leader of Séléka (a rebel coalition group).
CAR is a very appealing country to many political actors due to its natural wealth: minerals, uranium, oil, gold, diamonds, lumber and arable land. Its religious make-up is the following: 50% of Christians, 35% of animists and 15% of Muslims.

In this introductory article on CAR, we will address the rebel group - now in power -  and its probable intent.
Séléka is mainly composed by the Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC), the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP), the Patriotic Convention for Saving the Country (CPSK) and the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR, supported by Sudan). We will focus on the latter because it was the group that started the CAR Bush War, in 2004; which eventually led to this present crisis; and because of the forces behind it.

An expert in African matters shared with us a letter that the UFDR seems to have authored - of which we will share an excerpt for reflection purposes:

"The Central African Republic UFDR greets you in the name of God and all Muslims of the CAR and the whole of the Central African region.

I wish to pass on the information below to the Muslims of the CAR and Chad for their well-being and security, particularly those in our own country, the CAR. I am giving you this information on behalf of the UFDR, as we are at unity and one in fellowship with our brothers in the Sudan, who are going through the same difficulties as we are. This brotherhood between us is a blood alliance; as proof of it, you can see the unity and solidarity between our brothers in DARFUR, as they work together for deliverance from poverty.

We want to meet together to fight for democracy for black Muslims; and it is for that reason that we are issuing this appeal to Muslims in Central Africa. Our movement first came to birth in 2004 in Bangui, the capital of the CAR, for the benefit of Muslims and those willing to shed their blood for their freedom; and for the promise made by the French in 1966, when they said that Muslims and Christians should live separately from each other. It is time now that this promise was fulfilled, and that Muslims have their own country. From 1966 to this day, the Muslim population of the CAR and Chad has never reached 35%. (...)

(...) The French asked us to make peace with the power-holders in Bangui, as we were in too much haste. So we must make peace, and they will find a strategy to help us. All that I have related here is the outcome of the Libreville agreement between the President and the rebel leaders, which we have adhered to out of respect to the late President OMAR BONGO of Gabon and the President of BURUNDI. This agreement was based on the following six points:

1. Ceasefire.
2. The festivals of Tabaski and Ramadan to be made official public holidays.
3. Every Muslim in the CAR to have a birth certificate, national identity card and passport like any other citizen of the country.
4. All Muslims to be free to serve, unconditionally, in the defence and security forces and in the civil service; and also for their style of dress to be officially recognised.
5. The fundamental, cultural and religious freedom of Muslims to be recognised.
6. The UFDR to be recognised as a political party for the defence of Muslim interests in the political and diplomatic fields.

(...)"

Michel Djotodia's intent, thus, is very clear: to turn a mainly Christian country into a Muslim nation. This assessment is supported by reports that Christians are being targeted by armed Islamists who visit Christian villages with the sole intent of committing atrocities against followers of Christ - "According to witnesses, the militants threw bodies in a river, including that of a five-month-old baby" (Catholic Group Aid to Church in Need).

In, "Why Central African Republic Matters", Scott Morgan expounds the forces behind Séléka: Sudan (whose former Arab Janjaweed fighters are among the militants and, thus, potential allies of President Bashir); Iran (that allegedly supplied Séléka with arms through Eritrea, which Iran often uses as a transit point); and the Lord's Resistance Army (who, since it no longer operating in Uganda, is void of a clear political agenda; and seems to be selling its services to the highest bidder - in this case, to groups with an Islamist Agenda). Scott Morgan also suggests that the crisis in CAR is an Iranian proxy operation; however, given other details (to be addressed in a different post) +MAX: Dissecting Society would also point its finger at other Islamic actors.

The situation in CAR is extremely calamitous and it jeopardises international interests in Africa -  so why is our attention being persistently diverted to Egypt?

Comments

  1. Maybe our attention is being diverted to Egypt because it is crucial to finish the MB off before moving on to other avenues, maybe they are part of the problem?

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      It is a very good theory. Do you think MB is involved?
      I loved this, thank you so much :D

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. Olá Max,

    Given the religious composition of CAR I do not see why President Bozizé should have agreed to make Muslim holidays official holidays in a Christian country: just the idea of it is absolutely absurd. Or am I the only one to see this?
    Anyone who has visited, or was born in, Africa knows very well that Muslims live in peace there and they are not interested in having this or that holiday made official!
    Another detail is that Islamists kill Sufis (the majority of black Muslims in Africa) because for them they are heretic. Go figure!
    I read the Libreville Agreement and I didn't see these points included there, so what was UFDR talking about? Moreover, France should be ashamed of itself!!

    Sudanese Arab Janjaweed, Islamists, LRA folks, Iran's meddling...CAR is doomed if we do not do anything about it!

    Great job, girlfriend!

    Tchau

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    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      I don't see why either. Do you think this was one of the reasons why Pres. Bozizé didn't comply with the signed agreements, and if yes...then why did he sign them?

      It is true, most African Black Muslims just want to live in peace. In Mozambique, so far, they are not a problem and everybody gets along just fine.
      You are right about the Sufis and the Islamists: spot on.

      For now: no comments on France. I am saving it for later ;).

      Yes.

      Thanks, love! And thank you so much for your super comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. This was off my radar, but now you have my attention. The US State Department is going to have quite a time establishing a republic based simultaneously on our twin values of pederasty and Sharia Law. But they have some clever folk there and I am sure they will find a way.

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    1. Hi Looney :D!

      I think it is practically off everybody's radar.
      I agree you (on the clever folk finding a way). The first step is to turn our radars to what is going on there and then take it from there - but yes, it will take time and it won't be easy. It is a shame we allowed things to get to this point though...

      Looney, thank you so much for your super comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Max, Please show me one place on earth with some Muslim population which is not turbulent just now. I try and satisfy myself with the observation from I Ching. “After a time of decay comes a turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by force. The movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results.” No harm results must be viewed in the larger point of view of a changed Islamic world. The new Islamic world is likely to be, after it goes through the change process, a harmless place. At least I hope. I prefer to be pessimistic about my intellect and optimistic about faith / hope.

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    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      I can show you one: Mozambique (so far at least).
      I totally agree with the I Chi; but sometimes we need to give a slight push...without giving it :).

      "No harm results must be viewed in the larger point of view of a changed Islamic world."

      Agreed.

      LOL it is preferable to be optimistic even in the face of tragedy - that's how humans survive :).

      Rummy, thank you so much for this outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. I never get tired of saying it: kick them out! I get the feeling these Islamofascists are on to take over Africa for its resources, what do ya think, Maxie? Unbelievable the amount of space and time we gave them to spread all over the world the way they did, quite frankly I blame the Europeans...that's right, I blame your side of the ocean, they bend too much to those guys. We have to take serious measures but since they are all in their pockets I don't see how we can do it...shit.

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    1. Hi Adam :D!

      You will be surprised to know that it not taking the resources that interests the "Islamofascists" (as you called them) - the sequel is coming soon.
      It's ok; you can blame the Euro-politicians for the share much of the blame. There is always a way out...

      Adam, thank you ever so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. What is going on? (I know, I sounded like Wolf Blitzer now hahahaha) The world is going crazy! I didn't know that this was going on in CAR; I mean I knew there were problems because the BBC is always mentioning but not the depth of it; I am deeply shocked! And what are the ramifications of this exactly? Huge, I imagine.
    I enjoyed Scott Morgan's article: very informative! Thanks for putting this out there, Max. Africa needs all the help it can get (specially to kick out those Islamist terrorists from there)!

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      LOL you did sound like Wolf Blitzer. I think most people do not know what is going on down there because most of the mainstream media has chosen to ignore the situation down there which is much more calamitous than the one in Syria or in Egypt. Independent blogs and sites have been doing a much better job in this department and I salute them.
      True, the BBC News has been following the situation there, in DR Congo, Uganda, etc. At least that.

      It is a great article, isn't it? He writes marvellously. You are welcome, darling *bowing*.
      Amen to that.

      Ana, thank you so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. I think that's a very wise assessment Max. The international media is perhaps least bothered about this, as without reading this piece I wouldn't have been able to know about the geo-political reality of the CAR region. I feel in any nation that minorities should be protected and treated equally as any other citizen, but then minorities should also respect the law of the land and learn to adapt and change with the prevalent culture of that country.And I have seen most are willing to adapt to new cultures but some zealous orthodox or radical individuals/groups won't allow that for narrow interests. In every country the messiahs of the minority would themselves live in the utmost comfort but won't allow it for the common masses and sway them with moon dreams and therein lies the irony. Every time I see the world coming closer into one global village, every time it drifts and drifts more!

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    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      Good call.

      And you know what bothers me even more, K? Is that, as Celeste pointed out, these "zealous orthodox or radical individuals/groups" are even killing most belonging to the minorities because they are not "the right kind of Muslims" (because they are Sufis - a mix of mysticism and Islam). Like you said, Sufis they are quite integrated (across Africa) and they live in peace with others, but then narrow interests disrupts people's lives.

      Those self-proclaimed Messiahs are hypocritical.

      Kalyan, thank you so so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete

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Dissecting Society welcomes all sorts of comments, as we are strong advocates of freedom of speech; however, we reserve the right to delete Troll Activity; libellous and offensive comments (e.g. racist and anti-Semitic) plus those with excessive foul language. This blog does not view vulgarity as being protected by the right to free speech. Cheers