Mali and Central African Republic update – 11/30
A few articles I’ve seen on Mali and Central African Republic:
(Update: Oops. Title of post corrected. I dropped an “n”.)
11/28 – AP at Bismarck Tribune – Mortar attack on UN base in North Mali kills three, injures 20 – An estimated six mortar rounds were fired at a UN base in Kidal, killing two UN peacekeepers and 1 contractor, with 20 people injured. The two soldiers were from Guinea.
Kidal is in the far northeast corner on the above map. The terrorist attack earlier in the month took place in the capital, Bamako, which is in the far southwest corner of the country.
Article reports the government has arrested two suspects allegedly involved in the November 20 hotel attack.
11/29 – Bismarck Tribune – The Latest: Pope welcomed to Central African Republic – Pope Francis visited Bangui, CAR on Sunday. This was his first speech in French. Plans are to visit a refuge camp populated by fleeing Christians and later visit a mosque which is a refuge for fleeing Muslims.
There have been 100 people killed in religious violence in the last two months.
The President of CAR publicly said all Central Africans need forgiveness, including herself. She then publicly confessed the evil done in the country for so many years.
11/29 – Wall Street Journal – Pope Francis Calls for Harmony in Central African Republic – The 26 hour visit will have many calls for reconciliation.
In a hint of the hatred running rampant in the country, the article says the area with the mosque the Pope will visit later in the day is off-limits to non-Muslims. My guess is that large portions of the countries are no-go areas depending on your faith. How terribly wrong.
The extent of disruption is not known. Here are two wildly different guesses: The UNHCR asserts there are 70,000 displaced persons. The Human Rights Commissions asserts that 105,000 Muslims have fled just the capital. Regardless of the number, the dislocation is tragic and inexcusable.
There are about 4,000 peacekeeper soldiers in country, which includes 900 French troops.
Per capital income was $600 a year in 2014.
11/30 – Wall Street Journal – Pope Calls for End to Religious Violence at Central African Republic Mosque – With heavy security visible, Pope Francis visited a mosque in Bangui. He called for an end to religious violence.
Article says the Pope bowed his head as an imam recited a Muslim prayer. Interpret that as you wish based on your doctrinal beliefs.
Article cites various sources suggesting 15% of the CAR population is Muslim and 33% is Catholic. Article does not indicate any estimates for the total Christian population.
8/24 – Wall Street journal – U.S. Imposes Sanctions Tied to Conflict in Central African Republic – The Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on one leader of Seleka (the Muslim militia group) and two leaders of Anti-Balaka (the Christian militia group), along with a diamond mining company and its distribution branch in Belgium.
The sanctions mean American individuals and companies cannot send money to those individuals, which means no business or support for them from Americans.