Flora Jessop »« Backing away

Central African Republic

It’s not good news.

A UN humanitarian official has warned against the risk of genocide in Central African Republic, where an ethnic conflict has caused over 1,000 deaths and left thousands uprooted.

“It has all the elements that we have seen elsewhere, in places like Rwanda and Bosnia. The elements are there, the seeds are there, for a genocide. There’s no question about that,” John Ging, director of operations for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told a news conference in Geneva.

Ging described the situation in CAR as a “mega-crisis” where humanitarian needs are urged for thousands of displaced people.

The two groups that hate each other are Muslims and Christians.

Whatever. Serbs and Bosnians; Hutus and Tutsis; Hindus and Muslims; Thises and Thatses.

Don’t.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Why is it called a superiority complex when it requires inferior and simplistic thinking?

    Every (or nearly every) genocide thoughout history can be attributed to ideology, religion, ethnicity or money. People don’t kill because of enlightenment and acceptance.

  2. John Morales says

    The two groups that hate each other are Muslims and Christians.

    How could this be, when Islam is the “religion of peace”, and when Christians “turn the other cheek” and love and forgive their enemies?

  3. Albert Bakker says

    My – extremely – limited understanding of the roots of the conflict is that they go way back before the Bush war ’04-’08 all the way to the ’60s – 70′s with the causes lying primarily in inequality and social disparity, in one of the poorest countries in the world, marginalization of the northern part of the country and socioeconomic injustices and deliberate exclusion which run almost parallel to sectarian dividing lines. It would perhaps be unwise or unhelpful to define the conflict solely or even foremost in terms of religious strife, save perhaps for involved parties like the LRA, who might stand to profit.

  4. medivh says

    left0ver1under: Dunning-Kroeger, largely. The ignorant feel superior to those who say “it can’t be done”, largely because they don’t see any obstacles. Which, of course, leads them to run straight into the obstacles.

  5. steve oberski says

    @Albert Bakker

    Inequality and social disparity are highly correlated with religiosity.

    Why is it “unhelpful” to point this out ?

    If I understood your comment, you are making a (invidious in my opinion) comparison between motives of those who point out the connection between religion and sectarian strife and the motives of the Lords Resistance Army, based on your self admitted “limited understanding of the roots of the conflict”.

    Now that is what I consider to be unwise and unhelpful.

  6. Albert Bakker says

    @ Steve Oberski – I’m sorry you got that impression because that is not what I meant. I’m not even trying to suggest there is any motive on the part of those who point out the sectarian dimension of the conflict, I mean it is rather obvious to see that and undeniably a big part of it. It is just that there are parties, not just the separate issue of the LRA, in the conflict that stand to benefit from such a narrative. According to UN’s John Ging:

    [.."This conflict (was initiated) by extremely violent people who have an agenda to try to convert this into an interreligious conflict. The communities are resisting that but they are in fear"...]
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/un-warns-of-genocide-in-central-african-republic-20140117-hv8sj.html

  7. freemage says

    Recognizing that there are parties seeking to make use of religious divisions to create the divided society that helps lead to genocidal practices is useful, in that it can help religious moderates of both sides speak out against the strife in order to protect their faith from exploitation. However, it’s also necessary to note that this tactic would not be happening at all if there were not a significant body of religious extremists in both camps already. Religion may not be the true ‘root cause’ but it’s a vital factor in the process of building a tragedy.

    My bigger issue in this sort of scenario is trying to figure out what, if anything, can be done from the outside to prevent things from exploding. We have a lit match, and a gunpowder room. Do we have anything that might serve as a bucket of water? Humanitarian aid often just ends up getting captured by the local warlords in these situations; military intervention just ends up burning the village to save it.

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