By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News
Juba, South Sudan — December 16 … The Fashoda Institute, a highly respected South Sudanese think-tank, has asserted in its latest analysis that the French-led Operation Sangaris in Central Africa is driven by the French desire for uranium ores and that “Paris is focusing on the uranium deposits in the Bakouma sub-prefecture of the Mbomou prefecture, in south-eastern CAR.
The primary sources of France’s uranium in southern Algeria and northern Mali and Niger are increasingly threatened by jihadist terrorism and sabotage, the endemic kidnapping of engineers and technicians, the scaring away of local miners and workers, as well as the destruction of facilities and support infrastructure. Hence, Hollande’s Paris decided to fully control and develop the alternate resources in the CAR. “
“A coalition led by Michel Djotodia had seized power in Bangui on March 24, 2013, and overthrew France’s stalwart puppet, President François Bozizé”, writes Fashoda. “Paris panicked. Initially, Djotodia seemed to be an ally of Iran and Sudan. However, in Summer 2013, Djotodia emerged as his own man.
Paris argued that power must be returned to the CAR’s legal president, Bozizé. However, Bozizé is an ex-general who also seized power in a military coup on March 15, 2003, when his forces captured Bangui and overthrew then-President Ange-Felix Patasse, who was out of the country.
Early December 2013, on the eve of the French-led intervention, saw a sudden marked escalation in the fighting in Bangui. Until then, the entire Bangui area had been completely quiet and stable for a few months. Anti-Djotodia forces launched a concentrated effort to turn incitement into fratricidal violence. The main instruments were well-armed vigilante militias that arrived in Bangui from neighboring states and pro-Bozizé regions.”
The Juba-based think-tank opines that “the French-led forces neither address the deep-rooted indigenous causes for the fratricidal violence, nor destroy the main forces threatening local stability. The French will stay and patrol for a few months, and then abandon the area to the hapless — ill-trained and ill-equipped African forces — who will prove incapable of meeting the challenges, and unwilling to try. The escalating jihadist and tribal-secessionist violence in Mali and Niger already attests to this. The CAR will not be different.
Ultimately, the fratricidal violence against civilians in the CAR is a mere excuse for Paris to intervene and impose its political will over Bangui. President Hollande has been very clear as to the real objective of the Paris in Operation Sangaris: to topple the Djotodia Administration and restore a French-dominated government. Hollande stated his objective explicitly. “We can’t leave in place a president who hasn’t been able to do anything, who let things happen,” Hollande said on Djotodia’s fate. As for the humanitarian concerns, had France, the US, and the rest of the international community, been genuinely committed to the alleviation of genocidal violence against civilians, there were worse carnages and genocides in Sudan’s Darfour and South Kordofan, as well as the multitude of vicious conflicts throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, to which they could have turned their attention”.
President Hollande has announced that France would support “the creation of a rapid reaction force controlled by the African Union”. He declared that France would provide training for 20,000 African troops for five years, as well as the commanders and professional echelons until such time Francophone African armies have their own qualified cadres. The African leaders understood that Hollande means the creation of a French-controlled rapid intervention force for future unilateral interventions and “regime changes” where and when Paris deem French interests to be threatened.
“The blatant cynical move by France in Operation Sangaris sends shivers throughout the entire sub-Saharan Africa”, states the Fashoda Institute’s analysis. “The reawakening, exploitation, and exacerbation of indigenous crises and enmities in order to create excuses for the French-led intervention know no borders. The conflicts and the fratricidal violence they reawaken and engender spread among cross-border ethnic and tribal groupings over vast areas. African governments are already too stretched thinly and are too economically-burdened to be able to meet the new challenges. Urgently-needed development programs are postponed in order to restore stability in areas long-pacified in reaction to the new waves of exacerbation originating in French provocations.
African leaders increasingly focus on regional development in the context of regional cooperation, thus enabling even poor countries to implement major programs together while jointly reducing threats of spreading cross-border violence and instability. South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit is the most eloquent and visionary proponent of this vision.
President Kiir argues that the overall situation in Africa is unique and extremely complex. The myriad of crises and fratricidal violence are rooted in Africa’s unique history, tapestry of tribes and nations, and unfulfilled decolonization process. Western attention to African crises is selective and frequently at variance with Africa’s own priorities. Most foreign military interventions proved to be counterproductive and detrimental to African interests. Therefore, it was imperative, he felt, for Africans to formulate African solutions for Africa’s problems”.
The Fashoda Institute’s analysis concludes with assertion that “fighting and instability throughout Africa are manifestations of deep-rooted, endemic and indigenous problems. Just fighting the multitude of armed groups would not solve the root-causes of the fratricidal violence. Eliminating armed gangs should take place in the context of launching long-term development, self-empowerment, and good governance programs for the grassroots populace, thus addressing grievances and integrating the zones of crisis into the stable states.
President Kiir believes that only comprehensive modernization of all aspects of society and economy by the Africans themselves would guarantee the long-term stability and prosperity of Africa”.