CAR's New President Undertook a Daunting Task

Catherine Samba-Panza (Source: Google Images)

The Central African Republic has a new Interim President: Catherine Samba-Panza.
She is the first female politician to lead CAR and she inherited quite a legacy: a country thrown into bloody chaos.

Prior to having been nominated as the interim president, Ms Samba-Panza was appointed the mayor of Bangui last year; and before joining politics she was a businesswoman and a corporate lawyer.
Her role now is to re-organise CAR, cool down the animosity between Christians and Muslims and to prepare the country for presidential elections, next year. This will not be an easy task for even before Michél Djotodia and his Islamic thugs decided to assault CAR, the country already had its problems (e.g. since its independence it has experience several periods of political instability) and despite being extremely rich in natural resources it was considered one of the poorest countries in the world.

The minute President Samba-Panza took office she vowed to protect Central-African Muslims. She was born in Chad, therefore these words can be interpreted as a direct message to President Idriss Déby (who has been deeply involved in CAR's affairs for quite a while now) that if he controls the Séléka elements stemming from Chad (and his peacekeepers who are being accused of assisting the Islamic rebels), if he helps her put her country back on track while understanding that she must protect the interests of the Central African Republic; she is inclined to assist him on making Chad the "kingmaker" of the region.
Samba-Panza knows that even though CAR citizens do not view Chad's involvement in their affairs with contentment; it is strategically convenient not to antagonise Idriss Déby after he supported François Bozizé (in 2003) only to remove his support a decade later and after he supported Michel Djotodia's coup (in 2013) only to be the first one to demand his ousting practically a year later - when those leaders failed to understand that they must concatenate their national interests with those of Chad's (e.g. to control the continued activity of Chadian rebels - who are hiding in northern CAR after having participated in the 2008-2010 attacks in N'Djamena and Abeché).

Women in CAR are hopeful that Catherine Samba-Panza will do a good job because in their opinion "As a woman, she can understand the sufferings of the people, and as a mother, she will not tolerate all of this bloodletting," (Annette Ouango), "The men have done nothing but fight, (...) The men, they are fighting. But they are only destroying the country. This woman, she might be able to change things." (Judicaelle Mabongo, an 18-year-old student). Most African nations remain very sexist - even though many voices today (including that of former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano) call for gender equality and women empowerment - so it will be interesting to see how President Samba-Panza will deal with her political colleagues and serve as the unifying element in CAR.

Order must be restored to the Central African Republic. Operation Sangaris is proving itself to be harder than expected (unlike Operation Serval that presented more straightforward characteristics) inasmuch as inter-religious tensions have taken over the conflict: Christian militias decided to react to the Muslim criminal audacity (although the political world and the media, again to appease Muslim nations and shareholders, seem to forget this detail and now focus on the Anti-Balaka's actions only). In my view, Christian denominations should come together and send missionaries to talk to the militias and remind them of Christian values - of course, at first, they might hear that classical question "Where were you when Muslims started slaughtering our families?" however revenge needs to stop eventually.

Wishing President Samba-Panza success in her daunting task.


(We would like to thank Scott Morgan for his most valuable contribution)


Comments

  1. That lady is in for a ride. I wish her the best though.

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    1. Hi Pietr :D!

      Thank you for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. Quite why anyone would want to ride that tiger is beyond my ken!

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    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      Well, I guess somebody must do it...
      My friend, thank you for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. Now she is threatening christian militias and I am wondering if her message goes beyond appeasing Chad's president. She might have problems in the future.

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    1. Hi Anon :D!

      She is not threatening Christian militias, she is simply stating that those who "lost the sense of mission" and do not stop killing Muslims (and mind you, we are talking about civilians) should be incarcerated. You disagree that they should stop killing people?
      But I agree that she might have problems in the future...

      Anon, thank you for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. President Panza has quite a mission in hands, I can only hope she succeeds. But I'm here for the thought of the week: I have heard of this sort of studies and I'm a bit skeptical about it. What is ESP suppose to do in military terms exactly? And if it works for the military can it work for politics as well and in what way?
    This thought is a challenge, Max. I have to think about it. I will be back to check your answer.

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    1. Hi Joseph :D!

      She does, indeed. Me too.
      Well, my understanding of it is that people's psychic skills could be used to gather intel or support the HUMINT, for instance. I am not sure it could be used in politics, but perhaps it could...who knows? I am more inclined to support its use for military and/or national security purposes.

      Joe, thank you for your comment and I will be waiting to hear from you :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. Parapsychology? I am not sure I even believe in it let alone use it for military purposes. I don't know, Max, do you believe in it?

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    1. Hi Carl :D!

      I do believe in it, yes. But I do not blame you for being sceptical.
      My friend, thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete

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