Sunday, October 07, 2007

French Wars in Africa

Further to an earlier blog about the continuing presence of French influence and troops in Africa , in the UK Independent an article describes the little known war in the Central African Republic that is being conducted there which has seen an influx of fleeing refugees INTO the war zone of Darfur to seek sanctuary . 212,000 people have been driven out of their homes in this war .

Why are the French bombing in CAR ?

To protect their puppet ruler. President Bozize .

He has done nothing for the people of this ex-French colony . People here were tired of the fact that "there are no schools, no hospitals, and no roads". "We are completely isolated," they explain. "When it rains, we are cut off from the world because the roads turn to mud. We have nothing. All the rebels were asking was for government help."

A free liberal Africa is not what the French government or its commercial interests desire. Barthélemy Boganda was born in a Central African village near here in 1910, and, as a child, he saw his mother beaten to death by the guards in charge of gathering rubber for a French corporation. He rose steadily through the Catholic priesthood, married a French woman, and, quite suddenly, became the leader of the CAR's pro-democracy movement. He would begin his speeches to the French by introducing himself as the son of a polygamous cannibal, and then lecture them on the values of the French Revolution with a fluency that left them stunned and shamed. He crafted a vision of a democratic Africa beyond tribe, beyond race and beyond colonialism. He was passionate about the need for a plurality of political parties, a free press, and human rights. His vision was of a United States of Africa . On 29 March 1959, not long after the French era of direct rule had ended, President Boganda's plane was blasted out of the air. On the orders of the French government, the local investigation was abandoned.

The French installed the dictator David Dacko in his place. He swiftly shut down Boganda's democratic reforms, brought back many French corporations, and reintroduced their old system of forced labour, rebranding it "village work". French rule over the CAR did not end with "independence". It simply mutated into a new form, and it is at the root of the current war.

" Nothing happens in this country without somebody pulling a lever in Paris,"

"The presidents are selected by France, not elected by the people. The presidents do not serve the interests of this country; they serve the interests of France." He lists the French corporations who use the CAR as a base to grab Central African resources. This French behaviour is, he reasons, at the root of the wars currently ripping apart the north of the country. Whoever becomes president knows his power flows down from Paris, not up from the people – so he has no incentive to build support by developing the country..." Le Citoyen editor Maka Obossokotte

The French government says it is in the CAR because it signed a military agreement back in the 1970s to protect the country from external aggression. The rebellions in the north are, they say, supported by Sudan . But the true motives of French intervention are simpler than that . CAR is a base from which the French can access resources all over Africa. That is why it is so important. They use it to keep the oil flowing to French companies in Chad, the resources flowing from Congo, and so on. And of course, the country itself has valuable resources. CAR has a lot of uranium, which the French badly need because they are so dependent on nuclear power.

Other stories of French imperialism on the African continent can be found here and here ,

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