Tag Archives | United Nations

UN official denies CAR in ‘pre-genocide’ state

The Central African Republic (CAR) is not in a “pre-genocide” state despite its problems, a United Nations expert said Wednesday, touching on comments by a former UN official that have sparked a storm. CAR “is not in a pre-genocide situation,” Adama Dieng, the UN’s special advisor for the prevention of genocide, said. Genocide “is a long process,” he explained. In August, the UN’s then-aid chief, Stephen O’Brien, said he was deeply worried about the mounting violence in CAR. He said he saw “the early warning signs of genocide” and urged more troops and police to bolster the UN peacekeeping mission there. That assertion was strongly contested by CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera. He said the fighting stemmed especially from competition for minerals and other natural resources by armed groups, rather than a “programme” by one group to exterminate the other. Dieng, who arrived for a fact-finding visit on October 6, cautioned that the situation in CAR is “serious.” There are still “indicators… that could result… in crimes of genocide” if they are not tackled, he warned. These include major abuses against civilian populations for their ethnic or religious affiliation, the proliferation of armed groups and the weakness of the state, he […]

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France in Mali: myths and realities

The French intervention in Mali in 2013 was portrayed by many commentators at the time as another manifestation of la Françafrique. Tony Chafer argues that framing the intervention in this way is both problematic and misleading. 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.   Since the 1990s, la Françafrique has become shorthand for a neo-colonial relationship rooted in illicit and often criminal practices designed to maintain France’s ex-colonies in a relationship of dependency with the former metropole. Underpinning this relationship, it is argued, there exists a range of official links that have bound, and in many ways continue to bind, France to its former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa. These include defence and military assistance, economic aid, political, business and cultural links, and the maintenance of a common currency zone, alongside a […]

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