Tuesday, 11 October 2011

1000 elite soldiers...

Yesterday I got an email forwarded to me from a person working at my university department. A girl on undergraduate level had some questions concerning the ongoing conflict(s) here. She is going to do an analysis of the conflict between CPJC and the government. The only problem with that is that the CPJC does not in fact fight the government but is trying to get control of the diamonds which has resulted in clashes between the afore mentioned and another rebel group, UFDR. For updated info have a look at Le Confident  and Jeune Afrique

This made me think about how easy it is to get things wrong. Rebels and armed groups often evoke the image of Che Guevara and other revolutionaries but here it is difficult to say that the armed groups have a political agenda. More often than not the objective of the rebellion is simply about personal interests. As soon as the leaders get what they want, be it a position in the administration, a car, a house or the possibility to be ambassador abroad they sign the peace agreement. This is ridiculous. I mean seriously, how do you negotiate with that? I think we should call these armed movements its right name, bandits that breed on the population and have no interest whatsoever to change anything. The political opposition suffers as there is no room to negotiate if you are not armed. For more information have a look at this article.

I talked to a person who said, “with 1000 elite soldiers we could wipe them out”. Probably yes. Then again, there is no interest in doing so. Instead the LRA, Chadian rebels, the Central African armed groups and bandits are free to do as they please as the government does not control more than 30% of the country. The people have to play the game, at the same time trying to please the illegal armed groups and the state security forces. As the French say, “c’est pas evident”. Often the people find themselves caught in the cross-fire, accused from both sides of being loyal to the enemy. 

On top of the political-military groups, bandits and foreign armed groups there are ethnic conflicts in the communities, clashes between pastoralists and farmers, self-defence forces... You name it. Try to do a conflict analysis of that...

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