Question: On 20/02/2014 the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon called for rapid deployment of additional military forces in Central Africa to prevent the deterioration of the security situation.
Knowing that France has sent 2,000 troops alongside the African forces, which have increased in number to exceed 5,000 troops after the Security Council passed a resolution on 05/12/2013 for military intervention in Central Africa. Christian militia have perpetrated heinous atrocities against Muslims: brutally killing them, burning and eating their flesh, destroying their homes, looting of their property, and displacing them. Michel Djotodia the first president of Muslim origin to the Central African Republic resigned on 10/01/2014, and the elected Catherine Samba-Panza was announced as the new President of the Republic on 20/01/2014. America has announced its support for the African forces and called for elections before February 2015. What is the reality of the conflict there? How did the situation erupt? What caused the outbreak of the crisis there? And where is it heading?
To answer that we must first understand the situation of Muslims in Central Africa and narrate the stories of the coups and mention their relationship to the international conflict and the consequences:
1. The percentage of Muslims in Central Africa is between 15% and 20% of a population of about 5 million. But this figure is questionable due to the size of the spread of Muslims throughout the country, and these statistics are not neutral nor fair as the percentage of Muslims is always deliberately reduced for several factors… therefore, it is likely that the proportion of Muslims exceeds this estimation, and the rest of the percentage is shared by Christians and polytheists. The Muslims spread in the capital, Bangui, where they built a large number of mosques and Qur’anic schools, as well as the other major cities and provinces, especially in the north of the country where an Islamic Sultanate was established in the seventeenth century after many Muslim sultans of the Bajrami Islamic Sultanate in the south of Chad, were displaced after the fall of their Sultanate to the north of Central Africa; they made many polytheists convert to Islam in southern Chad. Knowing that Islam entered the region of north of the Central African Republic in the thirteenth century, some tribes converted to Islam, such as the tribe of Rongha stationed in the Indli capital of the North area, and the tribe Vakaca based in the city of Prao, the capital of the north-east, which is one of the areas that is most rich in gold, diamonds and uranium. There are groups of Muslims who came to this area in the eighteenth century and nineteenth centuries for various reasons and have contributed with their brothers in fighting to defeat the French colonization of the country. As well as the arrival of Muslims from West Africa and the Hausa and Fulani tribes which make up the highest percentage in the south-western regions adjacent to Cameron. The system worked, backed by France, and especially the government of Patasse, worked to isolate Muslims from the polytheists fearing the spread of Islam among them, not only that but they restricted Muslims from working in the government and public services, so Muslims turned towards trade. After the massacres of Muslim traders, trade stopped and a severe shortage in food among the population of the capital, Bangui, was noticed.
2. French colonialism began in Central Africa in 1885; France established a base in Bangui, and the area became their official French colony in 1894. When France granted it formal independence in 1960 it handed the Christians control of the country, but its influence and occupation remained as it was before; it appointed Christian rulers either by a coup or the so-called elections. France appointed David Dacko as the first president when giving the formal independence for Central Africa, but two years of his rule passed and his tyranny and the campaigns of repression against his opponents became apparent. America who was creeping towards Africa took advantage of this situation. The Soviet Union was at that time aimed at fighting against the old colonialism, after it agreed with the United States in 1961 to do so. These two countries, which declared a policy of reconciliation between them were able to impact and stir the people of Africa to rise against the old colonialism. France feared the loss of its influence in the country and pushed the Chief of Staff Jean-Beddle Bokassa in 1966 to the carry out a coup and take a firm grip on power. He appointed former President David Dacko as his adviser later, indicating that the coup was an arrangement by France to stand in the face of the American-Soviet campaign; this is by the appointment of a military despot to crush anyone who stands against the French influence. Bokassa continued in tyranny and focussed his regime for the protection of French influence in the country; he declared himself an emperor in 1976! He revered the French even gave the French President Charles de Gaulle, the title of the Pope and made his country a hotbed for France. There were many rumours spread about Bokassa, including cannibalism and killing of children, this turned international public opinion against him. France intervened with its troops stationed there to remove him from power and installed David Dacko again as president in 1979. The army led by General Andre Kolingba in September 1981 carried out a coup and ousted Dacko from power. France, having managed to remove pro-American Habre in Chad and bring Idriss Deby its agent in 1990 into power, France’s power grew in Central America because Chad is a pillar that supports the French influence in Central Africa… and so France saw that it has a strong influence in Central Africa; it wanted to paint the rule with the colour of democracy! It decided to remove the military from power and hold elections again there. Presidential elections were carried out in 1993 and victory was declared for Felix Patasse, associated with France and who led the opposition, who was driven by France to help to absorb the impact of democracy rhetoric that was the focus of America in Africa in order to end the old colonialism and replace it. France established a rule by elections with the opposition, led by the Rev. Francois Bozize as well as different ethnic groups, including Muslims. The opposition hated the corruption of Patasse, who persecuted the opposition, especially the Muslims; this moved the opposition towards armed rebellion. France saw to switch Patasse with the opposition leader Rev. Bozize as the president of the Republic on 15/03/2003. The Muslims helped him reach to power… but Bozize did not show gratitude to those who supported him from the Muslims or the opposition which was with him, and did not care for them, but approached them like enemies! He assigned personal bodyguards from the French security company led by the retired French General Jean-Pierre Pierce. He held elections in 2005 and 2011, and declared victory in all of them. During this period a new rebellion took place, and movement emerged called Celica (which means a coalition or agreement between the five organizations, their leaders are Muslims, and the largest was led by Djaotodia). Despite all the theatrical elections of Bozize, the situation did not settle in the country his tyranny increased especially against Muslims, where Bozize drove his forces to attack the properties of Muslims, as a result, hundreds fell victim to death defending themselves and their property.
3. Following that, a conference was held on 01/11/2013 in Libreville, the capital of Gabon and was attended by President Bozize and the movement of Celica to reach a solution; it revealed the extent of the injustice faced by Muslims in Central Africa, where they were denied basic rights. Upon which they demanded; which were simple demands: the recognition of Islam like other religions, and official recognition of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, and not to persecute Muslims. But Bozize had mastered stalling, after he agreed to some demands of the Muslims and Celica, and that this agent to France remains in power until 2016. Although the agreement ensured the continuation of Bozize’s rule despite his massacres, and despite that America had endorsed the agreement as was reported by the French news agency… despite all this, France and Bozize stalled in the implementation of these basic rights, but turned against them and resumed their atrocities against Muslims. This made the Celica head towards the palace and they captured it on 24/03/2013, led by Michel Djotodia, who became the president. But France became frantic… because Djotodia is a of Muslim background, even though he tried to appease the West since taking office as stated in his remarks where he said when he declared himself interim president of the country: “The Central African Republic is a secular state; Christians and Muslims live in a secular state, it is true I am a Muslim, but it is my duty to serve my country and all the citizens of the Central African Republic.” (The Gulf, 31/03/2013). All this to please the West, especially France, along with the Christians, so he did not disarm the Christian militias and allowed them to function. But France did not recognize the new president, as well as their agents. France began working against him strongly because he is of Muslim origin, and likewise his agents. France assembled the leaders of Central Africa to hold a conference in the Chad capital N’Djamena on 03/04/2013. In a speech by Idriss Deby, prominent French agent, he said: “It seems impossible for us to recognize the man who self-appointed himself”. (Al-Wasat 05/04/2013) This is despite the declaration by the Transitional Council of its election on 13/04/2013 of Michelle Ando Djotodia as a president of the country. This did not help him but because of being a Muslim. France withdrew its aid for his government even though it plunders the country’s wealth of uranium, gold, diamonds and acts as if it is providing a favour to help the governments of Central Africa and severs it whenever it wishes, considering that the wealth is its possession!
4. France began preparing the situation for intervention and the creation of problems as justification. It was able to get a resolution of the Security Council for military intervention in Central Africa on 05/12/2013; the intervention took place on 08/12/2013. French President Francois Hollande called for the resignation of Michel Ando Djotodia and early elections proceedings. Furthermore, France held a regional African summit in the Chadian capital N’Djamena and on 10/01/2014 and exercised it to exert pressure Djotodia to resign, which he announced at the summit. He announced the election of Samba Panza, the mayor of the capital Bangui, as an interim president in 20/01/2014. This was followed by the atrocities carried out by the Christian militias under the sight and ears of the French forces, which had disarmed more than 7,000 fighters of the movement of Celica under the pretext of maintaining security, but did not disarm the Christian militias, especially the so-called Anti Balaka, but supported them! Moreover after the overthrow of President Djotodia, these militias carried out the most horrific acts carried out by monsters: the killing and burning of Muslims, eating their flesh, the destruction of their homes, mosques, schools, and institutions and looting of their property under the sight of French and African forces. Meanwhile the reports of the United Nations accused France of supporting the Christian militias against defenceless Muslims after depriving them of any weapon that can be used to fend for themselves. The president recognizes these horrific crimes who said, “Anti Balaka have lost the meaning of their mission, today they have become the ones who kill. ” She said, “They think I am weak because I am a woman, but now anyone from the movement Anti Balaka who want to kill will be pursued.” (BBC 12/02/2014) The BBC also added: “Tens of thousands of Muslims fled from Central Africa to Cameroon and Chad, as some of them have resorted to camps inside the country. According to Amnesty International the militia attacks led to mass exodus of Muslims in historical rates, and described the situation in Central Africa that it is ethnic cleansing.” However, the president of the country rejected this description, but claimed that “what is happening in the country is a security problem!”
5. America tried to take advantage of the massacres of the French and their agents in Central Africa Republic (CAR). So it worked to strengthen the African troops in CAR to be parallel to the French troops, and thus eliminating the French singularity as a prelude to remove it so that America replaces it or collaborates with it… People started to accuse the French forces of colluding with the criminal Christian militias, and escalated their demand for African troops, instead of French troops. This was supported by calls from American sources, as well as from the United Nations sources that are effectively influenced by America… The chairman of the U.S Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, Christopher Coon, stated: “The African Affairs Subcommittee held the hearing to determine what more the United States can do to support multilateral efforts to ensure African Union (AU) troops have the capacity necessary to improve security and end violence” (IIP Digital, U.S. Department of State site 23/12/2013) U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Samantha Power and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited Bangui on 19/12/2013 for a meeting with officials from the transitional government. Thomas-Greenfield said: “We believed African Union-led stabilization mission in CAR MISCA’s more robust stabilization mandate is what is needed now to confront and disarm the armed groups” (Ibid)
In contrast, France has worked to strengthen the international forces troops from European countries to counter the African troops which numbered 4400 soldiers and 850 Rwanda troops which will be added to it. For this reason, “The French presidency decided on 14/02/2014 to send 400 more troops to the Central Africa to boost its troop presence in the CAR to 2,000. The French presidential statement said: This extra effort of 400 soldiers includes the early deployment of combat French troops that would eventually be folded into the planned EU mission. He added that France called on the EU to expedite the deployment of EUFOR forces, including the European gendarmerie. According to diplomatic sources, that the participation of the European Union can reach 900 soldiers, more than the expected 500.” (AFP 14/02/2014)
The United States has decided to finance the African forces. Deputy Spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department Marie Harff said: “We are deeply concerned by the worsening violence in the Central African Republic, which led to the growing humanitarian crisis and increase the risk of mass atrocities. Yesterday, we voted in favor and co-sponsored the UN Security Council’s strong resolution that gives MISCA, and French forces in support of MISCA, Chapter VII authority to restore security and bring peace to a people that have suffered for too long. We intend to provide $40 million in equipment, training and/or logistical support to MISCA to strengthen its capacity to implement this mandate, and stand ready to assist our African Union partners and French allies as the need arises” (IIP Digital, site of the U.S. Department of State 06/12/2013).
It is clear from the actions of these forces; whether of African countries influenced by America, or French forces inlaid with European troops loyal to it; it is clear from the actions of these forces, of about 8000 soldiers, that they are not there to protect the security of the African Republic, as they did not do anything to prevent the atrocities, and the terrible massacres against Muslims, although if they had been serious about it they would have been able to do so in a country with a small population…. It is a matter of competition on the French influence and the U.S. influence that is exerting efforts to knock on the door to insert its influence… And this is how Muslim blood is being shed, and their flesh being ravaged, became a wrestling ring… where France and America are dancing in its ground with their legs sinking into the blood of Muslims.
6. Therefore, the United States is working to strengthen its influence in Central Africa by strengthening the African forces and strengthening the mission of these forces. For this reason UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is working according to the American policy requested the Security Council, “to rapidly deploy an extra 3,000 troops and police to impose security and protect civilians” (AFP 20/02/2014), and it known that the extra troops will be from the African forces… It seems that America wants to end up with a political process and elections, exploiting the blood of Muslims in order to share with France the influence in the Central Africa Republic! It is also expected that France will comply with the United States’ political solutions so as not to lose everything, because this time it is the most severe out of all the previous times, and then they will be working to bring their agents into power through elections as well.
7. In conclusion, Muslim blood has become a field of struggle for influence between America and France… They are not interested or concerned about the rivers of Muslim blood, nor that the elderly, children and women are tortured and even eaten alive… but what is important for these colonial Kaffir countries is who stands at the end, and cheers above those corpses and carnage… The Kaffir colonizers are one faction; they do not observe toward a believer any pact of kinship or covenant of protection…. Therefore, the two sides focused on the killing of Muslims, no matter how different their tactics and their purposes are, but they leave the Christian militias to freely wander and frolic in shedding Muslim’s blood…
But what is painful and saddening is that, there is no one to cry for Muslims; their blood is dreadfully spent in Palestine, Burma, Kashmir, Chechnya, Tatarstan and Syria, and there is in Central Africa…etc. The rulers in Muslims countries serve the interests of the West, and not the interests of Muslims, so they watch the massacres as if they were in a faraway land or in another world but their world. At a time when those massacres, are not even a palm or an arm’s length far from the territory controlled by those rulers… they face adversity in their action.
The conclusion is that, Muslims are missing the shield that deters the aggressors. They are missing the Khaleefah, the shield and the protector.
«وَإِنَّمَا الإِمَامُ جُنَّةٌ يُقَاتَلُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ وَيُتَّقَى بِهِ»
“Indeed, the Imam is a shield, you are protected by him and fight from behind him” (Narrated Al-Bukhari from Abu Hurayra (ra))
وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هُوَ قُلْ عَسَى أَن يَكُونَ قَرِيبًا
“They will shake their heads at you and ask, ‘When will it happen?’ Say: ‘It may well be that it is very near.'”
(Al Israa, 17:51)
23rd Rabii’ II 1435 AH