Blog 6: Central African Republic clashes: “Thousands flee villages”
According to the Medecins San Frontieres or MSF a medical charity, thousands of people have had to flee unprecedented levels of violence in Central African Republic. Some villages have been burnt to the ground entirely, and the people have been treated for gunshot and machete wounds. The mineral-rich but very underdeveloped country has been seized by a group of rebels who have taken power since March and has put the country in a state of chaos. The now president Michel Djotodia, set up an alliance with the rebels called Seleka. Just last month Djotodia disbanded the rebel group and put many of them into the national army. Even so, some of the rebels have launched attacks on many villages, which in turn prompt the emergence of local civilian protection groups. MSF surgeon Erna Rijinierse states that the “MSF teams are horrified by what they’re witnessing, including the execution of a healthcare worker, multiple violent attacks on humanitarian staff, burned villages, and appalling scenes of murder.” (bbc.co.uk) Alone last month MSF teams treated more than 60 people, who included children; most of the wounds were gunshot and machete wounds. Due to the fighting between rebels and the vigilante groups, the medical charity says that more than 30,000 people in Bossangoa have been displaced. The displaced people have taken shelter in many different places: most of them are taking shelter in the town’s Catholic Mission, about 1,200 people are in a hospital, 1,000 are seeking shelter next to an airstrip, and then another 100 gather in a school. The conditions that these people are living in are precarious conditions; they are vulnerable to malaria which is the number one killer in CAR. The UN Security Council approved for the development of a UN peacekeeping force in the country. French troops will also be sent to CAR in efforts to end the chaos, as told by France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. African Union is in the process of deploying a 3-600-strong peacekeeping mission to the country, which would incorporate a regional force already on the ground. Even though CAR has a huge deposit of precious minerals but they have been plagued by chronic instability since their independence in 1960.
In reading this article, you can start to see that their are many human rights that are violated. These people are pushed from there homes and then force to live in places that they could get malaria, which is in fact the number one killer in CAR. This article is shocking to know that is has taken the displacement of so many people from their villages for governments to send in help to try to resolve the issues at hand. This story is just another example of the things that go on around the world in today’s society. Now even though this is happening in non-development or up and coming developed countries things like this should not happen. The wounds that were and are inflicted on the innocent people that are caught in cross fire between the rebels and the vigilante groups are mostly from gunshots and machetes. The fact that they are still using machetes as a weapon to harm people, might just show us how far behind they are in the development. It is hard to know which group are the “good guys”. We learned in Chapter 5 that were police force fails in Africa, communities hire groups to control the crime rates, these groups though often become vigilantes who kill randomly. If the vigilante groups were hired to control the rebel forces, it does not seem that they are doing a good job, just by the fact that many of the people who are in the villages are displaced and hurt. It is unbelievable that things like this are still happening in today’s world, and that it took so long for outside force to send help to try to resolve the problems that are going on today. This fighting and other fighting like it in CAR has been happening in the country since they had gotten their independence in the 1960s, and yet it still took so long for some other countries to send help.