Sunday, 9 March 2014

Frustration in Central African Republic

African Union troops speaking to young and older men while attempting to keep the calm in their neighborhood
Blue Helmets are soon to be deployed in Central African Republic. The deployment is in its final stage at the United Nations Security Council. The African Union is also seeking an additional troop deployments. Ethiopia has guaranteed its commitment to AU force already in place in CAR. Ethiopian troops currently serve as a peacekeeping force for the AU's peacekeeping mission in Somalia despite the threat from piracy and low intensity guerrilla involving suicide bombings among other forms in Southern Somalia and Mogadishu. Meanwhile Central Africans' frustrations have reached a boiling point at the slow response from the UN and countries. Angered by limited international protection and feeling abandoned by the government's promise of security, Central African Muslims hurled stones at French military choppers protesting the French soldiers' failure to fully disarm Christian militia belonging to the Anti-Balaka forces. Some Muslims see French soldiers as complicit in prolonging their plight and ignoring persecuting Ant-Balaka perpetrators of massacres. Even children have not been free from being attacked by rebel forces at checkpoints. In one such checkpoint stop, a Muslim mother Fatimatu Yamsa was seperated from her daughter after handed the baby over to a Christian women who tried to help Yamsa by pretending the baby was hers. Fatimatu and other Muslims were pulled off a truck transporting both Christian and Muslims to what was supposed to be safety. Anti-Balaka has constantly been harassing men, women and children at the checkpoints. The Seleka rebels are still fighting against the Anti-Balaka but have receded back into the shadows since last November after the intense fighting ebbed. Some Christian supporters of Seleka rebels fearing reprisals from the Anti-Balaka and being accused of desertation after being abandoned by their Seleka commanders are currently holded up at the Seleka's headquarters in the former palace of Central African Republic's "Emperor" Bokassa I. Outside the palace walls in other areas of Bangui, French soldiers killed four Seleka rebels during a mission to disarm them. Both rebel forces and local gangs have been accused of exacerbating the conflict and making humanitarian aid for stranded refugees and internally displaced persons almost impossible to deliver. In the middle of both rebel forces, French soldiers and a potential peacekeeping force is the people tired of running but unable to still in their homes. 

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