Central African Republic’s Seleka Rebels Call for Secession amid Sectarian War

David Smith, Guardian (London), April 25, 2014

Rebels in the Central African Republic are calling for the establishment of a new country as a radical solution to the worsening sectarian conflict.

The name–the Republic of Northern Central Africa–and a design for a national flag, are circulating by mobile phone in the dusty town of Bambari, which divides the CAR’s largely Christian south from a northern region now controlled by the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels, according toReuters. But the United Nations, the African Union, the former colonial power, France, and many analysts insist that this is neither likely nor desirable.

The call for partition echoes numerous secessionist movements across Africa, where arbitrary borders drawn by colonial mapmakers disregarded and cut across ethnic boundaries. South Sudan, the CAR’s neighbour, gained independence from Sudan in 2011–but is now embroiled in a civil war of its own.

Bambari has become a sanctuary for Muslims fleeing lynch mobs in the south; a convoy of French peacekeepers escorted 100 Muslims there last Monday from the capital, Bangui.

Such evacuations, which are continuing, are tantamount to accepting partition, the minister for reconciliation and communications, Antoinette Montaigne has conceded.

Abdel Nasser Mahamat Youssouf, member of a youth group in Bambari lobbying for the secession of the north, was quoted as saying: “The partition itself has already been done. Now there only remains the declaration of independence.”

A colleague, Oumar Tidiane, said of the south: “They don’t want any Muslims. Rather than calling their country the Central African Republic, they can call it the Central African Catholic Republic.”

Militias known as the “anti-balaka” have driven tens of thousands of Muslims from the south, destroying mosques and virtually wiping out the Muslim population of Bangui. The UN high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, has said the country faces “massive ethnic-religious cleansing”, while Amnesty International has warned of a “Muslim exodus of historic proportions”.

But there is no simple split. Before the crisis it was estimated that half the CAR’s population was Christian and just 15% Muslim. David Smith, a director of Okapi Consulting, who spent several years in the country, said: “The number of Muslims in the CAR was small and now it is dramatically smaller. The number calling for secession is so small that it’s hardly worth listening to them.

“There are some people who want to compare it with Sudan and South Sudan but that is completely off the mark.

“There are lot of independence movements all over this continent and most have more steam behind them than a group of young men in the CAR. It’s coming predominantly from Chadians and Sudanese who want to have free rein in the region,” he added.

Indeed, an independent north would play into the hands of neighbouringChad and Sudan, whose mercenaries played a major part in a coup in March last year, sparking a backlash along religious lines that forced the Seleka to cede power in January. This is just one reason why partition is implacably opposed by the CAR’s interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, has also warned of its dangers and the French president, François Hollande, has vowed to prevent it.

It is also unlikely to win much sympathy in the rest of Africa, where governments are resisting separatist movements everywhere from Angola to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from Nigeria to Kenya, from Somalia to Zimbabwe. At independence half a century ago, the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) declared the borders immutable to prevent wars erupting.

It made a special case for South Sudan but is hardly like to do the same for the CAR. Koffi Kouakou, a foreign-policy expert at Wits University in Johannesburg, said: “The partition of the CAR is not likely to happen and is not desirable at political and economic levels.

“The social evidence on the ground shows that while the strife of ethnic cleansing is increasingly becoming a grave concern in many parts of Africa, mainly in central Africa, the partition of the CAR is a mirage at this stage.

“The international community will not allow it as a matter of course. A divided CAR is not feasible on international jurisdiction and on paper.”

Kouakou added: “There may be an urgent need for a solution to isolate the warring populations for a while to help subside the violence. But it will not be in the interest of all parties to seek a secession of the mainly Muslim north away from the Catholic south.

“The partition of Sudan, a bordering country, is the evidence that the partition of a country is in fact not the solution to deep ethnic rivalries in Africa.”

Smith said: “It’s undesirable because the CAR as it stands is not a functioning state and has never been a functioning state. Cutting the CAR–which was the weakest part of French Equatorial Africa–in half will mean one half has virtually no infrastructure of any kind. If you don’t have Bangui, you don’t really have anything.”

“It serves nobody’s interest to create another basket-case state that requires aid from the international community.”

Not all Muslims favour the move either. Ibrahim Alawad, one of a small band clinging to their homes in Bangui, said on Friday: “It cannot be just like that. You grow up in one country and you live in one place. We want to know what is in the minds of our fellow Christians.

“I don’t want to see the country divided. Why not dialogue?”

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  • Blacks armed with guns are going to fight tribal wars. We see an homogeneous black race, but they see their various tribes, religions, etc. They are where Europe was thousands of years ago, except they have modern weapons and they always want to drag the white man into their conflicts. Following the Star Trek prime directive, we would leave them alone to kill each other.

    • Urbane Neanderthal

      They reproduce faster than they kill each other.

      From a purely realistic standpoint the only solution is to recolonize Africa, which should happen when the Chinese are a little stronger and the West just a little weaker.

      • DAWNOFNEWDAY

        The Chinese already are colonizing Africa at this moment. Whites simply need to have more kids, yes, but we also need to revitalize a collective pro-white mindset which means we need to remove and stop these third-world parasites from living around us or getting any resources from us.

        • Strider73

          The Chinese have never swilled the diversitoid Kool-Aid. If the natives get too uppity I have little doubt their new overlords will either enslave them or exterminate them — and neither action will cause them to lose a minute’s sleep. Then we must ignore the remaining Africans’ pleas for us Europeans to intervene on their behalf. As “bigone4u” said, invoke the Prime Directive.

        • FeuerSalamander

          The Chinese are not really “colonizing” Africa. They are putting business tentacles into it but not a large population. China , believe it or not, it facing a demographic crisis. The majority of it’s population will soon be entering old age, thanks to the “one child” policy. They are actually IMPORTING labor from africa. They actually have a labor shortage in china.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Blacks cannot build or maintain stable, functioning societies. Western governments need to accept that, stop giving blacks foreign aid and let nature take its course. Unfortunately, the liberal totalitarians will never accept the obvious reason for black failure: black intellectual and biological inferiority. The cycle of foreign aid dependency must perpetuate itself because liberals will continue to blame European colonialism, slavery, lack of natural harbors or navigable rivers for all of Africa’s civilizational failures, rather than Africans themselves.

    • dd121

      You know how this will evolve in the next 100 years. There will be civil war after civil war generating tens of millions of refugees that our evil elites will force us to take in.

      • Kenner

        Groundwork for Civil War 2.

        • DAWNOFNEWDAY

          I see a civil war in America and in Europe within the next couple years. I can sense it reading the nationalist news from England, France, Sweden, Greece, Norway, Russia, Bulgaria, etc. I can just smell it here in the US with the federal government getting more cocky and the growing overt anti-white double standards and overreaching we see everyday.

  • dd121

    Africans going full chimp on other Africans? Say it ain’t so.

  • IstvanIN

    Another multicultural success story!

    • MBlanc46

      Indeed. I must add this one to my list.

  • MBlanc46

    When Ban Ki-Moon and François Hollande are against something I feel almost obliged to be for it.

  • FeuerSalamander

    So the country will split and then there will be people in each of the new countries killing each other. These are africans, this is what they do. Nation states are a white thing. Tribes are an african thing. They will devolve the whole of africa into a fragmented tribal land where each tribe tries to eat the other. That is the way it was when the white man found it. When one looks back at the idealistic tv shows and movies of the sixties and early seventies. Where african nations were shown as being similar to white nations, where a “starship” was shown as having a multi ethnic, multi racial crew, where all cultures and races behaved the same, had the same level of competency, when one looks back on all that wishful thinking and idealism…it just seems so ignorant and naive. It was the biggest, stinkiest, most fetid load of bollox ever served up to any people in all of human history.

    • Alexandra1973

      Even in the Star Trek shows it was admitted that there were differences. Like one wouldn’t expect a Klingon to be a ship’s counselor.

      (On that note, I believe the Enterprise-D crashed not because of a woman at the helm, but because of a black chief engineer. LOL)

      • FeuerSalamander

        The Klingons were a foil. Their purpose was to show that HUMANS are all equal, all the same.

  • evilsandmich

    declared the borders immutable to prevent wars erupting

    Yeah that’s worked out great.
    There are no real borders in that place, just scraps of land that people fight over.

  • Just change some of the proper and common nouns, and we could just as easily be reading a story about gang violence in Chicago.

  • Whirlwinder

    Wait a second. Are you saying that the Christian and Muslim cultures cannot live together, side by side, in love and harmony? Are you saying that Multiculturalism and Diversity are not drawing these two alien cultures together in harmony and peace? Or, could our socialist/Marxist elite leaders be lying about how various cultures act out their various and conflicting lives when they come into contact with one another? I think that Islam is in conflict with every culture it comes into contact with because Islam believes it is the best of peoples and its mandate is to dominate the world until every culture submits to Islam. So much for living together in peace and harmony. Islam is totally alien to western civilization and we had better prepare for war with them because they are already at war with us.

  • Just… don’t… care.

  • Northern American-Nationalist

    “Not all Muslims favour the move either. Ibrahim Alawad, one of a
    small band clinging to their homes in Bangui, said on Friday: ‘It cannot
    be just like that. You grow up in one country and you live in one
    place. We want to know what is in the minds of our fellow Christians.’

    ‘I don’t want to see the country divided. Why not dialogue?'”

    OH PLEASE. Christians are bigots and Muslims are integrationists; got it Guardian!

    Also, the Guardian stoops to a journalistic low of basically declaring, ‘Hey, they,’re not ALL like that; look at this one guy we know!’