AREVA, arms dealer, Arms manufacture, Central Africa, Central African Republic, colonialism, France, French Empire, Imperialism, intervention, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, Mali, natural resource exploitation, neo-colonialism, Niger, nuclear power, nuclear warheads, nuclear weapons, petroleum, Pierre Faustin Maleombho, President Dacko, Prime Minister Bagonda, republique centrafricaine, resource curse, resource exploitation, uranium, uranium mining, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
Just what is going on in the Central African Republic (CAR)? Why was the EU sent in to help out the French and African troops there?
“French troops battle Muslim rebels in C.African Republic town
Posted:Sat, 24 May 2014 10:25:39 GMT
BAMBARI Central African Republic (Reuters) – French peacekeeping troops in Central African Republic using helicopter gunships and mortars fought Muslim rebels on Saturday at a bridge in the town of Bambari northeast of the capital Bangui, a Reuters witness said“. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/INworldNews/~3/1stdupSIbnM/story01.htm
“Central African Republic: UN security council approves EU force intervention Unanimous vote paves the way for reinforcement of French and African troops trying to quell sectarian fighting“, Wednesday 29 January 2014 06.28 GMT http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/29/central-african-republic-security-council-eu-force
The French have been shamelessly tampering in the Central African Republic (CAR) since the moment CAR declared their independence, 1 December 1958. The new Prime Minister Boganda, whose primary job was to draw up a democratic constitution, was blown up in a plane crash on 29 March 1959, less than a month after the new constitution was approved by the assembly. The second in command, who under the constitution should have become leader (Goumba) was shoved aside by the third in command (Dacko). The third in command, Dacko, tried to get rid of the parliament. In return, the head of the parliament, Pierre Faustin Maleombho tried to save the democracy by making a motion of censor (i.e. non-confidence vote). However, this move was seemingly undermined by bribes to the assembly by Europeans. (See Titley, 2002, pp. 16-18)
“Boganda was poised to become the first president of the independent CAR when he boarded a plane at Berbérati for a flight to Bangui on 29 March 1959, just prior to legislative elections. The aircraft exploded in midair… The events after Boganda’s death are strongly evocative of other French efforts to maintain economic domination by ensuring that compliant leaders came to power in its former colonies.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barthélemy_Boganda
“With the backing of the French, Dacko took power and soon had Goumba arrested. By 1962, President Dacko had established a one-party state“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_African_Republic
By 1965, the country was plagued by corruption and slow economic growth, with border forays by rebels from neighboring countries. Dacko took financial help from communist China. Then there was the Saint-Sylvestre military coup d’état, led by Dacko’s cousin Jean-Bédel Bokassa, on 31 December 1965 and 1 January 1966. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Sylvestre_coup_d%27état
“In 1975, the French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing declared himself a ‘friend and family member’ of Bokassa. By that time France supplied its former colony’s regime with financial and military backing. In exchange, Bokassa frequently took d’Estaing on hunting trips in Central Africa and supplied France with uranium, which was vital for France’s nuclear energy and weapons program in the Cold War era“. (Emphasis added) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Bédel_Bokassa
“By January 1979, French support for Bokassa had all but eroded after food riots in Bangui led to a massacre of civilians. But the final straw came when between 17 April and 19 April, a large number of elementary school students in Bangui and elsewhere in the country were arrested after they had protested against paying for and wearing the expensive, government-required school uniforms with Bokassa’s image on them. Around 100 children were killed. Bokassa allegedly participated in the massacre, beating some of the children to death with his cane; however, the initial reports received by Amnesty International indicated only that the 100 or more school students who died actually suffocated or were beaten to death while being forced into a small jail cell following their arrest.
Bokassa’s overthrow by the French government was called ‘France’s last colonial expedition’ (‘la dernière expédition coloniale française’) by veteran French diplomat Jacques Foccart. Operation Barracuda began on the evening of 20 September and ended early the next morning” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Bédel_Bokassa
Finance Minister of France, Valéry Giscard D’Estaing, 20 July 1962
(Psst: Valéry is a man for those who thought he was a Lady President of France)
“Bokassa said that he shared women with President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who has been a frequent guest in the Central African Republic. Bokassa also claimed to have given Giscard a gift of diamonds worth around a quarter of a million dollars in 1973 while the French president was serving as finance minister. Giscard’s next presidential reelection campaign failed in the wake of the scandal. Bokassa’s presence in France proved embarrassing to many government ministers who supported him during his entire rule.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Bédel_Bokassa
It is clear that the current crisis in Central African Republic is a culmination of various coups d’etats orchestrated and/or supported by France, which progressively backed the country into the current chaos. The coup by Bozizé against Ange-Felix Patassé immediately benefitted France, who was thanked by a uranium exploitation contract, which profited the [majority French state-owned] Areva nuclear group. For an amount of 18 billion CFA francs (27 million euros), dealing with the Bakouma deposit, the contract was signed in 2008 for 5 years. Areva is also present in Niger, where the kidnapping of four Frenchmen took place, a hostage taking which was a determining factor [excuse?] in the French intervention in Mali, in January 2013, Operation Serval. The Areva Contract in Niger terminated at the end of 2013, as did the one in the Central African Republic. As though by accident, the Serval intervention in Mali placed Paris in a strong-forceful position for the eventual renewing of the Areva contract in Niger. Areva has exploited uranium mines in Niger for almost half a century, without Niger really profiting. The exploitation of resources in the Central African Republic is not helping the country get out of its underdevelopment, on the contrary, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Its two most precious resources, uranium and diamonds, appear cursed. When the Areva contract was going to end, the troubles started in the Central African Republic (CAR), as if by accident. And, it’s again France who runs to save the good people of CAR menaced by civil war. The population of CAR is composed of 80% Christians, 9.6% animists and 10.1% Muslims, of which a minority of radical Islamic extremists were manipulated to make themselves a nuisance, and to give the pretext for a “humanitarian intervention”, which didn’t take long to happen. Muslims and Christians lived together in peace and harmony in Africa for several centuries, then they suddenly started killing each other? In the Central African Republic, there is not only uranium, gold and diamonds, but also petroleum, hydroelectric energy and other potentially important resources, which remain unexploited today. Nonetheless, despite the non-negligible riches which they have, the country is one of the poorest in the world. (See: Tahar, 2014 )
Obviously this is a complex topic and the Central African Republic has an interesting and complex history, which this post oversimplifies. We hope that people will understand, however, that there are still multiple imperialist countries in the world. It is clear that France is not intervening for the good of Africa but for its own imperial interests of resource exploitation. There appears a strong correlation between nuclear industry, arms industry, nuclear warheads and imperialism. However, although Japan has no nuclear weapons, they continue to promote the nuclear industry, which will allow them to build a nuclear arsenal, to which they apparently aspire. The grandchildren of Imperialist Fascist Japan continue to rule the country, so this should come as no surprise. In stark contrast, Austria, historically one of the greatest empires, remains both neutral and has made itself into a nuclear free zone (except for the IAEA). http://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/foreign-ministry/news/press-releases/2014/kurz-paradigmenwechsel-bei-der-nuklearen-abruestung-ist-ueberfaellig.html Austria has long preferred diplomacy to war, it seems, as expressed in the adage: “Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria, nube!” (Others wage war. You, happy Austria, marry!) Austria gained power and kept peace through royal marriage. Note that Japan used to have a nuclear weapons program, but Austria did not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_proliferation
There is a lot of money to be made by selling and exporting weapons. The importance of the military-industrial complex, by country, can be seen here. It is these exporting countries which have an interest in fomenting wars throughout the world – Africa and elsewhere. Arms manufacturers and dealers make a killing, both literally and figuratively: France is number 5 in the world for “defense budget”, i.e. military expenditures with number 1 USA; 2 China; 3 Russia, 4 Saudi Arabia. For arms exports, France is number 4, with number 1 being Russia, number 2 USA, number 3 China http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry
So, Russian arms manufacturers and dealers will make plenty of money selling arms as the Ukraine is torn apart. French arms manufacturers and dealers will make plenty of money from the violence in the Central African Republic.
This post is dedicated to Pierre Faustin Maleombho, African and Central African Patriot, lover of democracy. We hope that his biography will soon be written. We encourage people to read about Boganda, as well. The similarities between Boganda and Father Aristide, former President of Haiti, are striking. Aristide was removed by coup, not once, but twice. The second kidnapping coup involved the US, Canada and France. He was actually sent first to the Central African Republic before being granted asylum in South Africa.
References and Additional Information-Readings Below
It has been alleged by a UraMin consultant that French gov owned Areva, bought UraMin assets in Namibia and CAR with the understanding that it would help them get contracts for building nuclear power plants in South Africa: “The deal was that Areva would buy UraMin and get the nuclear tender in return. Areva paid too much for UraMin – it’s worth half [the $2.5-billion]. But they were going to get contracts for reactors and an enrichment plant worth 10 times as much.” See: “French nuclear frontrunner’s toxic political dealings in South Africa” http://observ.nucleaire.free.fr/mail-and-guardian-areva-uramin.htm
“UPDATE 1-Areva, CAR secure deal to end Bakouma mine row
Sat Aug 2, 2008 8:39am EDT By Paul-Marin Ngoupana”
http://www.reuters. com/article/2008/08/02/centralafrica-uranium-areva-idUSL26136020080802 [Article details that contract signed in 2008 for 5 years]
Titley, Brian, 2002, “Dark Age: The Political Odyssey of Emperor Bokassa “, McGill-Queens University Press.
“République Centrafricaine: Corruption, despotisme, misère et guerres civiles” 12 Janvier 2014, by Ali EL HADJ TAHAR, Liberte-Algerie http://www.liberte-algerie. com/international/corruption-despotisme-misere-et-guerres-civiles-republique-centrafricaine-213680