Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Central African Republic War Maps Batch One - Background

The Central African Republic would be a joke if it was not so sad.  The country has been cursed with indept kleptocratic governments which see its diamond wealth as a personal ATM.  Good background on this former French colony, its diamond trade, and relationship with France is the dark comedy-true documentary The Ambassador.

The majority of the country is Catholic and French speaking while there is an Arabic/French-speaking Islamic minority in the north, which also happens to be the location of most of the republic's diamonds.

From an e-mail
In March 2013, a giant coalition of rebels lead by the happens-to-be-Muslim diamond mafia, named Seleka, deposed the non-elected, coup leader-turned-president François Bozizé.  Seleka in turn realized it needed outsiders to help run the country, the economy, and police forces.  So the mafia turned to its Islamist partners in Mali, Chad, and Sudan.

The Islamist foreigners believed the Central African Republic was rip for a limited jihad and began targeting Catholic cultural centers, churches, and businesses.  Catholics in turn organized their own militias and began fighting the foreign Muslims in the west and the capital, Bangui.

The situation became worse in early December when Islamist forces attacked Christians in the capital.  France and the African Union responded by organizing a fighting force to "restore order" in the republic and "disarm all sides."  Since the Seleka do not use French-organizations to move diamonds it is likely the French and the African Union will take the side and put in place a pro-France power, whether they are clean or corrupt.

Note how the French and African allies are not going to the Muslim north.

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