Tuesday, July 29, 2014

(UHURU NEWS) France in Central Africa: A history of colonial violence and resistance
Makola Libanga
Published Jan 9, 2014

The people of Central African Republic have been victims of French colonial violence since the late 1800s when France ruled Central Africa as part of the French Congo.

Once again, France has sent more troops into Africa to supposedly bring peace and stability, this time in Central African Republic (CAR). There are now hundreds of French troops occupying CAR along with thousands of African troops sent by the neocolonialist African Union.

French troops are already scattered in Africa, particularly within its former colonies, including CAR. The French government is reported to have sent more troops to halt the violence, which was triggered when the alliance of “rebel” groups took power in March 2013, removing the neocolonial president Francois Bozizé.

The current violence has left more than 1,000 dead in Bangui alone, the capital city, with thousands more displaced and injured.

Imperialist media primarily blame the violence on the Muslim Seleka rebels who they accuse of looting, raping and killing since seizing power. Their leader, Michel Djotodia, who has been installed as CAR’s interim president, has admitted he has no control over the Seleka soldiers.

France is behind the violence

Imperialist media present French troops as saviors, but the truth is the French government and their companies are behind the violence. The people of Central African Republic have been victims of French colonial violence since the late 1800s when France ruled Central Africa as part of the “French Congo.”

The Africans were forced to labor for different European companies, who looted ivory, diamonds, rubber and now oil. Many Africans resisted French control, notably the Kongo-Wara rebellion (1928–31), however they were met with French brutality. The leaders were imprisoned or executed, with the population forcibly moved to “designated villages” and suppressed.

During flag independence, the French government broke up the colony into segments (Congo Republic, Gabon, CAR), thus creating mini economically ineffective states with tiny populations surrounded by mineral wealth.

To maintain the looting of CAR after flag independence, the French government occupied all of its colonies imposing neocolonial leaders loyal to France, who agreed with the terms set in the “Colonial Pact.”

This pact allows France to determine the currency value, hold the countries’ currency reserve and take a large share over all profits made from exports and imports.

The “Colonial Pact” also demands that France has the first right to buy or reject any natural resources found in the land, even if the country could get better prices elsewhere. The countries cannot sell to other nations unless France decides not to buy the natural resources and determines who can buy our resources.

The French government also controls CAR by playing off various neocolonial forces against each other, using its military on the ground to ensure the outcome. CAR president Francois Bozizé was removed by the French government because he allowed Chinese businesses to buy oil fields in CAR without French consent.

France’s looting of CAR has left it one of the poorest countries in Africa, with life expectancy at just 47 years, and deeply under-populated with only five million people, less than the city of London, but with a land mass bigger than France!

France’s re-colonization of Africa

The rise of India and China as well as the oppressed nations taking back their resources, is behind Europe’s economic crisis. France has massive public and bank debt. It has the largest exposure to both Greek and Italian debt (among others). Last year it lost its AAA status credit rating, which the capitalists use to determine where to invest and store their cash.

France’s unemployment figure is at 3.29 million—that is 10.5 percent of the working population.

The French government will increase its looting of Africa to solve its economic problems. France is hoping to create 200,000 jobs over the next five years by increasing its “trade” in Africa.

In December 2013, France held a two-day summit between France and 40 African leaders. French finance minister Pierre Moscovici said, "We have to speak the language of truth: African growth pulls us along, its dynamism supports us and its vitality is stimulating for us... We need Africa."

So the wars in Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali and in CAR are part of Europe’s long-term plan to re-colonize Africa and stop the rise of other countries including Africa itself.

France out of Africa!

The French government is being supported by the U.S. army. On December 9, U.S. defense secretary Chuck Hagel authorized military transport aircraft to carry troops from Burundi to support the French.

Africans in CAR, however, are isolated in their resistance against the French and the Seleka rebels who have been allowed to kill and rape civilians to impose a new president.

Despite this, on Tuesday December 31, thousands blocked the airport runway calling for the French-imposed president to step down. This protest took place even though several protestors were killed during a previous protest in Bangui.

The African Union soldiers cannot bring peace in CAR. They are under French military command.

French soldiers cannot bring peace in Africa regardless of the lies they report in imperialist media. The French military controls the Seleka rebels, and are disarming African youth who are defending their communities from Seleka attacks.

It is the task of ordinary Africans in and outside of Africa to lead an international struggle against France’s re-colonization of Africa by exposing their real aims in Africa and by shutting down French businesses wherever we are.

Imperialism Out of Africa!

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