Thursday, December 26, 2013

Should France Have Protected Bangui Against Seleka?

Bernard Lugan thinks that France should have intervened and protected Bangui a year ago. Is this so?

While on the one hand playing the role of regional leader in stabilising the Central African Republic, but on the other hand supporting Seleka to get rid of a Tchad rebel group that tried to topple him in 2008, Tchad's president Idriss Déby was playing a game we all know all to well from the war in Congo.

And France, which has studied it's previous mistakes in Rwada very well, was determined to avoid the 1994 scenario in Rwanda.

Instead of defending Bangui, France decided to play the diplomatic game first. Which reminds of what happened after the fall of Goma in 2012.

A year later we are now seeing a similar scenario, which was tested in Goma (& Kivu), play out in Bangui and the Central African Republic.

Same mandate, same players involved.

It's quite surprising Bernard Lugan, an expert on the French role in Rwanda, would even think of proposing a similar scenario to French politics in Bangui.

What we have in Bangui is no longer the French protecting a dictator, but a Chapter 7 mandated MISCA force, supported by France, taking on all rebel groups.

A strategy tested in Kivu and supported by the United States, South Africa and the United Nations Security Council.


Ann Garrison said...

Chapter 7? In the U.S. that means bankruptcy.

Ann Garrison said...

I still don't get it. I've read this a number of times now and I'm afraid I still don't get it.

They let Bozize be overthrown. Now Bozize's in France and seems to be ready to return if the other guy goes, as I imagine he will.

In Congo, M23 was allowed to take Goma and then forced to withdraw. Everyone waited one more year. but I'm not sure I see a clear strategy. Maybe I'm too damn tired.

Vincent Harris said...

I don't know where Bozizé is. France is not happy with Bozize (French army accused him of bankrolling december fifth attack).

The French strategy against the seleka rebels seems to be inspired by it's experience in Rwanda 1990-1994.

France does not want to support a regime against rebels just militarily and on it's own. It seeks allies in the region and in the UN instead.

Kabila's strategy in Goma was similar. He let m23 win on the battle field in Goma, but took them out on the diplomatic battlefield.

That's why I think Goma and Bangui are similar.