The peacekeepers went from vehicle to vehicle instructing everyone to return to a local mosque

And then there’s the Central African Republic. 

Can we not do this again?

Thousands of Muslims tried to flee the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR) on Friday, only for their mass convoy of cars and trucks to be turned back as crowds of angry Christians taunted: “We’re going to kill you all.”

The drama unfolded as Amnesty International said it had uncovered evidence of a fresh massacre in a village where the sole surviving Muslim was an orphaned girl aged about 11, and France said it would send an extra 400 peacekeeping troops.

Some cars were crammed with as many as 10 people as the convoy made its way through Bangui, the second such attempt to escape in a week, the Associated Press reported. Christians gathered along the road to shout abuse and threats.

The convoy was turned back because African peacekeepers feared it would come under attack in some volatile parts of Bangui. The desperate procession was halted in the Miskine neighbourhood, where one vehicle tumbled into a ditch on the side of the road.

On the orders of a Burundian captain, the peacekeepers went from vehicle to vehicle instructing everyone to return to a local mosque, according to an AP journalist at the scene.

Which will save a lot of trouble for the wannabe génocidaires.

It sounds way way way too much like Rwanda.


  1. justsomeguy says

    So these barbarians don’t want the muslims in their country, but they also don’t want the muslims to leave.

    And they will never acknowledge that they are standing in the way of their own horrible goal.

  2. says

    Sounds less like Rwanda and more like Kosovo. The Rwandan division was a lot less along religious lines and more along tribal lines, than Kosovo.

    However, not to unduly reprise a point that I made earlier/elsewhere – treating these things as purely religious is a mistake since it does a lot to bury longer-term hatreds. To unscrew the reasons behind some of these genocides, you often find that underneat the religious narrative there is oppression, slaughter and counter-slaughter, and political struggle. Sometimes that is a dishonest shortcut in history (e.g.: you could cast the Turkish/Albanian dislike for eachother in terms of it being a religious dispute but it goes a lot deeper than that for reasons that are a lot more tangible than religion). Religion serves as a convenient dividing line and tinder for igniting a disaster – there is no question about that – but historians should not accept the simplifying effect of religion and fail to dig deeper.

  3. says

    Good point, Marcus. I focused on the labels for this post because the two clerics managed not to let them determine their responses, but I didn’t mean to imply that the labels stand for the whole story.

  4. Katherine Woo says

    Based on his previous comments I am not sure if Marcus typed “Albanian” by mistake, or if he really has it that deeply confused in his mind as he rushes to ensure that religion is not unfairly besmirched. While Albania did throw off Turkish rule, it is hardly a notable animosity, unlike the Armenians.

    Since during the genocide, Armenians were often able to escape being murdered by converting to Islam and the subsequent Turkish genocides against the Assyrians and Greeks, also just happened to target Christian populations, I am going to quite comfortable say that religion was front and center (which does not mean teh sole reason) and not “a lot more tangible” issue that Marcus conspicuously leaves unnamed.

    Also after nine hundred years of Turkish aggression, and complete loss of national autonomy after approximately 1300, I am not going to blame the Armenians for having their face in the way of the Turks’ fist.

    So Marcus, you have shilled for fascist Japan and the Ottoman Empire of late, want to go for the white paternalism hat trick and make excuses for Chinese imperialism?

  5. RJW says


    What are the ‘deeper reasons’ for the Turkish/Albanian dislike for each other?


    Agreed, the Armenian genocide was primarily the product of predatory Islam, a 1400 year old tradition.

  6. Al Dente says

    What are the ‘deeper reasons’ for the Turkish/Albanian dislike for each other?

    The Ottoman Empire ruled Albania for about 500 years and there were occasional rebellions during that period put down with more or less mercy (usually less) towards the citizenry. Skanderbeg) ran a rebellion for about 20 years which involved scorched earth tactics by both sides, something that’s pretty hard on peasantry living a hand to mouth existence. Albania didn’t become free of the Ottoman Turks until 1912.

    The Albanians don’t like the Turks because the Turks ran Albania for centuries. The Turks don’t like the Albanians for not appreciating all the good things the Turks were doing for them, like compulsory conversion to Islam.

  7. Decker says

    When you do an overview of the religious conflicts worldwide, why is Islam implicated in nearly all of them?

    The headlines are full of stories about conflicts between Muslims and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, and yes, Muslims and Christians.

    There are sometimes conflicts, say, betrween Hindus and Christians ( India) or Buddhists and Hindus ( Sri Lanka) but they’re really quite rare when compared to the number of religious clashes involving Islam.

    If you press the rewind button for CAR, you’ll notice that the current clashes only began after a group of Muslims overthrew the gov’t in a coup d’état.

    That was the spark that ignited this violence.

    All that said, nothing can justify such murderous hatred. The people in those convoys had nothing to do with the coup plotters and so what’s happening to them is just appalling. The international community needs to intervene immediately and put a stop to the bloodshed. If they don’t, then we could see a repeat of Rwanda

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