Monday, 29 December 2014

Central Africa at the end of the year

Displaced children at school in Bangui, Central African Republic. Photo by Africa and her diaspora.

A few days before the new year, Central African Republic is in a semi peace transition. The two rebel groups that have caused destruction across the country for most of 2014 has ebbed their ferocious clashes and war across the CAR. Muslims and Christian Central Africans have been displaced within the capital Bangui and in smaller towns and villages now deserted by fleeing residents. Civilians on both sides of the fraternal war have suffered and lost mothers, fathers, children, aunts and uncles. Both rebel groups have claimed to fight on behalf of the people and condemned former President Francoise Bozize of corruption and marginalization at the expense of the country's prosperity or redistribution of wealth. CAR, despite the signing of a peace agreement by Anti Balaka and Seleka officially ending dangerous battles in civilian areas, is left with a huge security problems and shaking political foundations, Hundreds of thousands of Central Africans still remain displaced internally and in neighboring countries ie Niger and Congo-Brazzaville.

 Nocturnal cultural event/concert meant as therapy for audience and performers

The rebels have been hesitant to disarm or return to civilian life. Anti Balaka rebels still raid civilian travelers and war torn towns around and further away from Bangui. Muslim Central Africans have been facing months of displaced in enclaves in Bangui and elsewhere. UN peacekeepers have tried to aid civilians as much as they can on the ground alongside African Union and minute French troops. The UN has reiterated the need to halt the violence in CAR and return normalcy to the country immediately. Many UN observers and AU monitors fear CAR's ebbing violence will spark more civilian deaths. The current Central African government has managed to calm civilians' fear of being abandoned and at the mercy of both rebel groups. Central Africans in Bangui, abroad in France and other Francophone countries have highlighted the beauty of Central African culture in spite of the war through civilian eyes through creative arts, cultural nights, music and eyewitness accounts as forms of therapy for the performers and those back home caught up in the insanity. 

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