Tag Archives | Central African Republic

Genocide-mongering does nothing to help us understand the messy dynamics of conflict in the CAR

Following the recent events in the Central African Republic, we republish an article from 2014 recounting the political situation and explaining the historical roots of the conflict.   After Michel Djotodia’s removal from the presidency of the Central African Republic (CAR) on the 10th January [2014], speculation and rumours about his successor were rife. Would it be Josué Binua, who had been a minister under Djotodia but was previously a confidant of the ousted Jean-François Bozizé? No, it soon became clear — members of the newly-resigned government were excluded from consideration. This was fortunate. The choice of Binua, an evangelical preacher, at a time when religion has become politicized in new ways in the CAR, would not augur well for building trust after the past year’s violence. The strictness and extensiveness of the presidential criteria left some joking that they would exclude almost everyone. Almost, but not quite. On Sunday night, members of the National Assembly elected Catherine Samba-Panza, Mayor of Bangui and a businesswoman and lawyer. Diplomats and aid workers knew Samba-Panza as a founder of the Association des Femmes Juristes Centrafricains (AFJC), an organization they tripped over each other in a race to fund. Unlike many other civil […]

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The French military in Africa: successes, challenges ahead?

While French president Hollande claims that his French policy in Africa represents a change from that of his predecessor Sarkozy, France is still engaged in two military operations in Africa which both started prior to his presidency, in 2013. Does this apparent contradiction reflect a political will on his part or is it the result of other processes? Tony Chafer is Professor of Contemporary French Area Studies and Director of the Centre for European and International Studies Research at the University of Portsmouth. His main research interests lie in French African policy in the colonial and post-colonial periods, French military and security policy in Africa and EU security policy in Africa. He is a Research Associate of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and acts as a consultant to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on French African policy.   France has since January 2013 been engaged in two major new military operations in the Sahel/Sahara, but major problems persist. Operation Serval, the 2013 combined French-Chadian military intervention in Mali, was widely regarded as a military success. On 1 August 2014, Serval came to an end and was replaced by a new, regional Sahel-Sahara military mission, Operation Barkhane, undertaken in partnership with the so-called ‘G5 […]

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