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In CAR, As France Arrests & Imposes Selective Disarmament, Rwanda Echo?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 9 -- After decades of colonial misrule and months of post-colonial inaction, France's self congratulation for sending its troops to Central African Republic has been echoed by others.

But several questions have gone unanswered. Click here for Inner City Press' story from last week.

  Since then, when French troops as reported arrest former government officials in Bangui, under what authority are they proceeding?

  When French troops are as reported disarming the predominantly Muslim Seleka forces which overthrew France's man Bozize, but not the Christian anti-balaka militias (who then target the disarmed or unarmed Muslims), how and who is this helping?

To some it has some echo of Rwanda. There, it was not that France "abandoned" the country -- rather it was that the Security Council let France run the response, and France took sides (to put it mildly).

  This was foreseeable, then, in Central African Republic, given France's history. But to even raise the question last week gave rise to denials. Groups like Human Rights Watch downplayed France's colonial role, as Inner City Press pointed out, and simply called for Western intervention. And now?

  A separate question arises: if there have been US forces / trainers inside the Central African Republic for all this time, in the Haut-Mbomou prefecture, what have they been doing? Why have they (and the US at the UN) not asked for an expansion of their mandate or geographic scope?

France taking sides, and the US inactive or on the sidelines -- what really has been learned since 1994? Watch this site.


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