Central African Republic: Another 'looting war' on the model of the Congo-Kinshasa next door

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The key to the bloody crisis worsening in the Central African Republic (CAR) does not lie in the armed conflict between Christians and Muslims, as encapsulated and repeated ad nauseam by our corporate media linked to powerful interests in NATO/OECD countries -- including mining giant Canada.

This key is to be found in the geo-strategy of the CAR, a country as large as France, its former colonial master, and rich in little-exploited resources (diamond, gold, uranium, oil, hydro-electric potential, agriculture, and vast arable lands up for grabs).

Appropriated by France at the carving up of Africa in Berlin (1884-1885), and subjected to the rule of the "France-Africa" military-economic-political complex over half a century of fake "independence," the CAR has been brutally sucked into the vortex of the post-Cold War tempest let loose in Somalia in the early 1990s, and metastasized in Rwanda-Burundi, in the DRC (Congo-Kinshasa), in Mali, in Libya, and which continues to spread all over Africa.

Since the 2013 coup d'état engineered by Muslim members of the Armed Forces claiming equal rights for their community (which makes up only 10 per cent of a population of 5 million), the CAR has registered more than 6,000 dead, and more than one million refugees and displaced persons, in a war fed by corporate interests and weapons from Libya's 2011 looted arsenal.

A friendly and tolerant people united beyond religious, language and ethnic differences has been polarized between Christians (anti-Balakas) and Muslims (Selekas) -- in the same "divide and rule" pattern that has partitioned Sudan, the CAR's neighbour to the north, and that pits Hutus against Tutsis in Rwanda and Burundi. The Seleka is now even talking of "partition" of the CAR.

This "theatre of the macabre" is being played out even as NATO ($1.2 trillion in annual military expenditure) is deploying on the African continent a special command called Africom. What for? To ensure the continued looting of Africa -- and to counter emerging China, India, Russia, Brazil, Iran, which are building vital infrastructures in exchange for oil, gas and minerals, but without mobilizing a single soldier!

In a classic replay of the "arsonist fireman" scenario dating back to Licius Licinius Crassus of Roman Empire fame, the barbaric slaughter of civilians in the CAR is just what NATO/OECD powers need to justify their "humanitarian intervention" based on the infamous, Canadian-inspired R2P or Responsibility to Protect doctrine.

The French overlords were first to arrive, with Operation Sangaris, to be soon replaced by a UN force called the Minusca. Remember how the R2P doctrine opened the way for French-U.S.-Canadian intervention in Haïti in 2004, quickly replaced by a UN force called Minustah -- which is still there, even though it's mired in scandal and controversy.

By the way, the "humanitarian imperialists" then kidnapped elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide and air-dropped him in the middle of the night in... the Central African Republic.

The CAR scenario has been exposed, deconstructed and denounced by the UN Experts' Group in its successive and ongoing reports on the looting wars in the DRC-Kinshasa. The CAR now finds itself shunted onto the same bloody and destructive path: an interim régime blessed by NATO/OECD powers, rushed and badly organized "elections" (set for mid-October), and a plan to disarm and demobilize the militias -- a corporate- and NATO-friendly blueprint that is sure to stretch far into the future, and to "normalize" the bloody destabilization of a country with such a vast potential for the development of its people and of its neighbours.

Jooneed J. Khan is a journalist and human rights activist. A shorter version of this article was first posted on Auvidec.

Photo: UNHCR/S. Phelps/flickr

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