Chad, France and Central African Republic: Intervention only after Seleka losing, why?
Lielit Kebede and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Mass stereotypes is part and parcel of the Western mass media whereby stigmatizing one entire group becomes essential. Indeed, while members of the anti-Balaka innocently pose for photos, they don’t realize that Western media agencies will then use these images in order to spread racism, vilification and mass stereotypes. Of course, this reality exists in the vilification of the Syrian government just like it was used to hide countless massacres against Orthodox Christians in Bosnia. In other words, past history is glossed over and of course certain humanitarian organizations equally pitch in with their mass stereotypes.
However, if you turn everything on its head and try to focus on reality, then obviously many anti-Balaka militias were massively outgunned during the early period. Indeed, it is abundantly clear that Seleka desired to Islamize the Central African Republic and equally important, they were well armed to do so. During the initial period it is clear that the vast majority of anti-Balaka forces were enormously outgunned and they suffered heavy losses. Therefore, it was only their bravery that prevented Islamists and mercenaries within Seleka from taking control over large swathes of the Central African Republic.
It is equally noticeable that foreign intervention never happened during the period when mainly Christians were being butchered and forced to flee. On the contrary, outside intervention only really began to take hold when it was clear that Seleka was being overrun. Also, with Chad being accused of taking the side of Seleka – and with Chad having favorable relations with France – then it could well be that the anti-Balaka militias prevented a done deal?
Human Rights Watch says: “Armed Seleka commanders and fighters are leaving their bases in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, regrouping in northeastern towns, and engaging in a new wave of horrific attacks against civilians. In some cases, Chadian peacekeeping troops have facilitated the movement of armed Seleka leaders complicit in grave abuses.”
“Seleka forces in January 2014 tortured and killed civilians in and around the town of Sibut, where the former rebels have been regrouping, Human Rights Watch said. Seleka forces were able to leave bases to which they had been confined by African Union peacekeepers by using bush roads to circumvent checkpoints or by traveling with Chadian troops in heavily armed convoys.”
It may sound far-fetched to some individuals but with Gulf petrodollars increasingly hitting a rich vein in France and with Chad helping the foreign policy objectives of Paris in Mali; then something seems amiss. After all, many images surfaced whereby Islamists and mercenaries within Seleka were protected by outside forces in order for them to leave the scene of their crimes. This reality must be galling for many people in the Central African Republic.
Many anti-Balaka fuse Traditional Beliefs with Christianity but another important component is they know all too well about past enslavement by slave masters. Indeed, the foreign component within Seleka must have been very menacing because why were they in the Central African Republic in the first place?
Equally, it must be stated that under past Christian leaders in the Central African Republic it is clear that religious violence was never unleashed. Yet, under the first Muslim ruler of this nation a potent anti-Christian element became essential to many within Seleka. In other words, outside entities that supported Seleka along with Muslim mercenaries from several regional nations have opened up a devastating can of worms. This can of worms is now tearing the country apart based on countless massacres against non-Muslims over many months in the Central African Republic. If the international community had responded during the early period then clearly the desire for revenge – and a communal religious conflict – would never had materialized to this extent.
Yet, the passive response towards wanton violence aimed at the Christian and Traditional Beliefs community by Seleka is mainly to blame for the carnage now happening in the Central African Republic. Therefore, why did outside nations only involve themselves once the tide had turned against the mainly Muslim Seleka? Similarly, why were Seleka protected and allowed to leave the country – or regroup in the Central African Republic – despite the atrocities they committed against the followers of Christianity and Traditional Beliefs?
It goes without saying that it is galling for innocents to be slaughtered irrespective of faith or ethnicity. Therefore, ongoing massacres against Muslims by Christians and the followers of Traditional Beliefs are equally deplorable – just like the massacres committed by the mainly Muslim forces of Seleka. However, to ignore the reality that the vast majority of anti-Balaka forces were enormously outgunned and that non-Muslims were abandoned for many months – then this is clearly a distortion. Likewise, given the closeness of Chad and France – and the role of Chad in the Central African Republic appearing pro-Seleka – then this raises serious questions. Similarly, why were Seleka forces protected and given safe passage after their countless massacres against Christians and the followers of Traditional Beliefs?
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