Two decades ago the whole world was witness to the genocide in Rwanda and it’s hard to believe that almost the same situation is going to happen if we don’t act! The international community failed the people 20 years ago, we must not repeat the same mistake for the people of the Central African Republic.
For those who doesn’t know the conflict in C.A.R started on December 10th 2012 between the government of the Central African Republic and muslim séléka rebels. The rebels accused the government of president François Bozizé of failing to abide by peace agreements signed in 2007 and 2011. The dispute bursted in April 2013 when the government of President Michel Djotodia officially took over and became the first muslim leader while the majority of the country is of christian faith. Ever since the conflict is between muslim séléka, a coalition of rebel groups and Christian militias called anti-balaka formed after the rise to power of the muslim president.
According to the United Nation, the crisis has left thousands of people dead and 2.2 million (about half of the Central African Republic’s population) without food and in desperate need of aid. Over 650,000 of people are internally displaced and over 290,000 have fled to neighboring countries looking for refuge. Due to the lack of jobs and the political and social instability as well as insecurity, people of the CAR are not able to provide food for their family.
The humanitarian workers had problems in January with food distribution because of the rebels that blocked the main road used as a corridor for food, leaving over 2 millions of people without any humanitarian assistance. “For everyone in this country, security is a challenge, because the situation has been very volatile and violent. Last year there were nine humanitarian workers who lost their lives” Judith Léveillée, deputy representative for the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF in the CAR.
Steve Taravella, spokesperson for the U.N. World Food Programme said that “There are situations where we physically cannot access the people we need to reach because the forces that are fighting are making it hard for us to get to them. Roads are blocked, convoys are redirected, food supplies are looted and people are being otherwise attacked”. In present the road is open but the WFP uses military escort from the African Union peacekeeping mission, MISCA.
The Security Council of UN recently approved deployment of 10,000 troops and almost 2,000 police for a new UN peacekeeping mission for CAR to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian access, but is not expected until September. Until then support from African Union and and French forces is crucial. MR Ban urged that European Union continues to send troop reinforcements.
The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited CAR in order to bring media attention and show solidarity with the people. He advised the population to make peace saying that:”Your future is not partition and bloodshed. It must be unity and peace”, also that muslim and christians “have always lived together in peace” in the CAR and they must think at their children’s future and not destroy their own country.
“This is the moment for the international community to demonstrate its collective support to the efforts undertaken by the Transitional Government, under the leadership of Catherine Samba-Panza, to bring long-lasting peace, stability and reconciliation to the Central African Republic,” said Mr. Ban, “Not tomorrow – today”.
It is revolting that so many people are dying in CAR while the power to stop this is still within our reach. We hope, therefore, that worldwide communities will start paying more attention and get more involved where it really matters. Not being able to reach the people in need for food and other important supplies or die when u try to do, it shows the witnessing of a cyclical adversity viewed from the eyes of our current western society. In my opinion the current management of affairs shows a crass indifference while asynchronous coordination nurtures a perpetual affliction. There are so many resources to help yet we do a lot less than our power permits it, while innocent people are paying the highest price, with their lives, in search of tomorrow.