The Other McCain

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AFRICA IN CRISIS: U.S. Abandons Embassy, France Won’t Intervene

Posted on | December 28, 2012 | 24 Comments

The U.S. State Department has evacuated its embassy staff from the Central African Republic, as armed rebels threaten the capital of Bangui:

President François Bozizé of the Central African Republic has appealed for French and US help to stop rebel forces that threaten to overrun the country’s capital. The US has evacuated its embassy and the United Nations is also pulling out its staff.
The United States evacuated its embassy in the Central African Republic as the nation’s embattled leader appealed for French and US help after rebels seized large swathes of the mineral-rich country. . . .
The rebel coalition known as Seleka — which means “alliance” in the country’s Sango language — has seized four regional capitals, including a diamond mining hub, since its fighters took up arms on December 10. . . .
Central African Republic, with a population of about 4.5 million, has seen frequent coups and mutinies since independence from France in 1960. It ranks 179 out of 187 on the UN development index.

Becca Lower points out that the only place you can find the latest breaking news on this escalating catastrophe is . . . Ace of Spades HQ.

So don’t expect any reporting about the crisis in Bangui from CBS, MSNBC or CNN, because they’re all racist, that’s why.

UPDATE: Twitchy was reporting this story yesterday and notes:

ABC’s State Department correspondent Dana Hughes has been all over this story on Twitter, so she’s definitely a feed to watch as the situation progresses.

The last time the U.S. abandoned an embassy? Syria.

Because you’re probably wondering: No, I don’t know if these “rebels” are radical Islamists. Only about 10% of the C.A.R.’s population is Muslim, so it seems unlikely that any kind of al-Qaeda-backed extremist coup could be successful there. On the other hand, one of the country’s neighbors to the northeast is Sudan, an Islamist regime that might have its own motives to secretly support the Seleka rebels.

UPDATE II: Patrick Fort of AFP reports:

BANGUI, Central African Republic — Government soldiers in the Central African Republic battled to re-capture a rebel-held city Friday, a military official said, despite regional efforts to seek a peaceful end to the growing crisis.
The military official said the fighting in Bambari, which rebels from the Seleka coalition seized Sunday, was “especially violent”, and a humanitarian source said witnesses some 60 kilometres (35 miles) away could hear detonations and heavy weapons fire for several hours.

One of the commenters dismisses C.A.R. as one of those insignificant post-colonial “lines on a map” kinds of countries, and this may be entirely true. On the other hand, you never know when one of these minor dominoes might tip over and start some trouble that is more than local. A “failed state” outcome, for example, such as transpired in Somalia in the 1990s, might provide harbor to terrorists. It’s worth nothing, by the way, that the U.S. has a small contingent of troops stationed in C.A.R. to help hunt down the fugitive terrorist leader Joseph Kony.

UPDATE III: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Those “smart diplomacy” punchlines just write themselves, don’t they?



24 Responses to “AFRICA IN CRISIS: U.S. Abandons Embassy, France Won’t Intervene”

  1. johnontheright
    December 28th, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM AFRICA IN CRISIS: U.S. Abandons Embassy, France Won’t Intervene #TCOT

  2. TC_LeatherPenguin
    December 28th, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

    5 “A’s”, Sir!

  3. M. Thompson
    December 28th, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    It’s one of those countries with arbitrary boundaries, and not terribly important. Let me know when there’s a real crisis.

    Also: wasn’t their dictator at one point a cannibal?

  4. Mwalimu_Daudi
    December 28th, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    That was Idi Amin of Uganda.

  5. Eric D. Mertz
    December 28th, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

    Interesting, further reading indicates the rebels might be backed by Sudan. However, most of the people fighting seem to want Bozize out after his Coup de Tat back in 2003. I think you are right Stacy, this doesn’t look like its Islamist. That said, there might also be elements of tribal conflict going on here from preliminary readings. I think Thompson is right about this being an Arbitrary Boundary state, and those are never stable.

  6. HenryBowman419
    December 28th, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

    Hardy a crisis…no one in the U.S. gives a crap, or should.

  7. Mike Spehar
    December 28th, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

    How about our 100 soldiers? Someone should at least give a crap about them. Have they received orders to withdraw?

  8. US Evacuates African Embassy – Alert The Media | The Lonely Conservative
    December 28th, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

    […] in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic? I didn’t either, until I saw it at The Other McCain. The French media is reporting on the situation.The United States evacuated its embassy in the […]

  9. Eric D. Mertz
    December 28th, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    According to the Morons over at Ace of Spades, its a shipping clearinghouse for illegally harvested goods – rumor has it a number of items labeled CAR actually came out of the DRC during their civil war – and a major source of Oil, Diamonds, Uranium, and Rare Earth Minerals. This is the kind of place China would just love to turn into a “Protectorate” in order to shore up their economy. If China is not involved in this unrest, they will prolly try to help the local government clean it up.

  10. gs
    December 28th, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    Let’s load a cargo plane with reset buttons and airdrop them to both sides.

  11. David Ferguson
    December 28th, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

    So, how many embassies and consulates has Obama “lost”?

  12. rktsci
    December 28th, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    If you want to know what is going on in Central Africa, check Strategy Page. Their end of the year podcast covered the situation in the CAR and adjacent states.

  13. xbox361
    December 28th, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    just speedbumps on our way Forward!

  14. narciso
    December 28th, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    No that was Bokassa,

  15. Becca Lower
    December 28th, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    Now I understand how that “‘Lanche once removed” thing goes. Got linked by The Lonely Conservative, which is awesome!

  16. CWA
    December 28th, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    It is starting to look like Obama is a failed neo-colonialist.

  17. mechanic540
    December 28th, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

    Oh come on, these African monkeys have been doing this tribal crap for thousands of years ,The names on the flag change but not the sentiments of those waving them.Let em all die at their own hands,beats us having to waste ammo on em.

  18. Comrade_Tovarich
    December 28th, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    That was Emperor Bokassa, his coronation enabled by France, monssieur. There is an interesting book that goes on about Bokassa, Amin, and other nasties: “Talk of the Devil: Encounters with Seven Dictators.”

  19. Frank Meyer
    December 28th, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

    The interesting action is further north and west in Mali, where auxiliary groups that supported the defeated regime in Libya have fled south and seized control of the northern desert section of the country beyond the Niger river and are preparing to resist international intervention – Wretchard has a nice survey of the situation:

    Dec 20, 2012 | 2139 GMT
    The U.N. Security Council on Dec. 20 approved an operation to oust al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb from northern Mali, AP reported.

    Dec 22, 2012 | 1702 GMT
    Al Qaeda-linked jihadist group Ansar Dine and Tuareg militia National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad signed an agreement Dec.21 to stop fighting, Al Jazeera reported Dec. 22.

  20. FOAF
    December 29th, 2012 @ 1:58 am

    It’s official now, under Obama the US is more craven than France.

  21. Adjoran
    December 29th, 2012 @ 3:54 am

    Chaos is contagious. It is interesting that Obama’s first choice for Secretary of State was Susan Rice, under whose supervision one of the last African disasters unfolded in the ’90s.

  22. BenTheGuy
    December 29th, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    Legacies of the French, and European colonization in general.

  23. Bob Belvedere
    December 29th, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

    As long as you don’t include the British in your definition of ‘European’, I agree.

  24. 2012 Wrap-Up « Countenance Blog
    December 31st, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    […] *  Uh oh, we’ve just abandoned our embassy in that known superpower, the Central African Republic. […]