Thursday, 27 February 2014

Central African Republic Miles to Refuge

Miles to Refuge for Central African children

Children across the Central African Republic both Muslim and Christian (violence and war does not discriminate against religion) have walked hundreds of miles from their homes to safety. Some children have been fortunate to flee from Anti-Balaka and Seleka rebels with their entire families or single parents. The families have found safety at the Bangui International Airport while waiting to be evacuate. Other families have had to flee directly to the border with Chad and Cameroon. Some families have been turned away by border police . Thousands of Chadian refugees and other Central Africans have made it safely to Chad. Many children who have lost their parents and siblings are now orphans who can not easily find safe haven in Bangui or other towns. The children have to keep moving relying on the kindness of strangers both Christian and Muslim adults who have gone out of their way to protect orphans, other displaced and dispossed children. One such orphan, Ibrahim Adamou walked a 100 kilometers from his destroyed hometown into the safety of a Catholic church protecting both Muslim and Christian children from the rebel forces. He was helped by both peacekeepers and ex rebels to safety. Ibrahim and other children's trek is not a uncommon. rebel forces (reminisce of Darfur, Sudan) have been known to harass and terrorize refugees and IDPs who are sheltered behind secure walls at Bangui Airport or hidden by neighbors and kind strangers at greatest risk. Most refugees and internally displaced as well as their fellow countrymen who have escaped the rebel violence are exhausted by the show of force from rebels and the peacekeepers' tiptoeing response to disarm them. 

President Francois Hollande who might be visiting CAR soon, recently committed some 400 more troops to boost the 2, 000 French troops already operating in Central African Republic. The French military relies on its permanent base at Bangui Airport to conduct its troop and equipment deployments including its strategies for combating the rebel forces. The French military intervention is appropriately named Operation Sangris which is Latin for blood. The French parliament has extended the operation which has raised some eyebrows. Underneath CAR's soil and rivers one can find gold, diamonds, and metals that can literally develop nations if used for the benefit of the people. France relies heavily on natural resources such as Uranium, diamond and gold trades among many other resources to keep the nation's electricity and infrastructure development grinding. 

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