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France: 2014 a year of promises, challenges and wars.

 

Journalist Alejandro Ronard Alem

Alejandro Ronard Alem

By Alejandro Ronard Alem.- Apparently, as time goes by, years are all alike whendrawing conclusions: its promises, its challenges and its wars.  2014 will be no exception. In Europe certainly the Heads of State will be with their advisors, rounding the last details of the “End of the Year” discourse, and each of them, will try to explain the soundness of their policies put in up in a world in crisis, and whose initial results will be seen at the end of next year.

Classic, but no less delicate, since in its function as protectors and educators, the Heads of State have not always reached to explain their policy decisions, especially in economic and military areas, with the risk of becoming isolated from the people.

So far nothing new either, governance imposes decisions in which the democratically elected Head of State in mostof the worstsituationsis alone. In the case of French President Francois Hollande, he will have a tough task in his role as pedagogue and speaker to explain –in the first place- his achievements (eg the reversal of the unemployment curve), his new tax policies, as well as societal and security problems.

And especially the French involvement in Africa, especially in the Central African Republic CAR, because although the French public opinion initially supported the intervention in Mali in its majority, 80% of it is today against it according to the latest opinion poll (TILDE-LCI).

Most part of the French people is concerned about the economic situation, the budget cuts, but they are also against the intervention in the CAR, for what they understand it will be a significant economic cost.

Furthermore, people is against this intervention because they have the slight impression that France is riding alone in this conflict...

As I mentioned it in previous articles, the CAR intervention is different of  the one in Mali. In the CAR, France is acting as intervention force in a latent civil war, and French troops feel at times as an orphan of popular support. Only the Catholic majority see them as one last resort for survival.

 When night falls in Bangui, the various gangs -armed with machetes- be they pro or anti Djotodia, commit the most heinous crimes, as evidenced by the daily events and the discovery of mass graves with mutilated corpses. Calls for peace and political settlement of the conflict, made ​​by the Archbishop of Bangui Monsignor Dieudonné Nzapalainga and the President of the Islamic Community of CAR Imam Omar Kobone Layama, have not yet been heard.

African Union AU militaryintervening in CAR are not neutral as in the case of the 800 soldiers from Chad that are helping the Islamic militias, leaving the way clear for the slaughter of Christian origin populationsBefore the situation degenerates as in the case of Rwanda, French President knows that there is a urgent need of intervention by other military forces, and Mr. Holland´s call to the UN has been understood. But there will be enough time? Recently, the French Minister of Defense met with Chad´s President Idriss Déby, to ask him to make sure that his country’s army will be impartial. While the Chad military intervention in Mali (where they had 40 casualties) was important, now that participation in CAR, can become a destabilizing factor.

Idriss Déby is playing a dangerous game, trying the Islamization of the region, going against what the “Bantous” Africa really is. But Déby is a fundamental part of the resolution of the CAR crisis with Michel Djotodia and their militias. Just recall the recent trip to Bangui by the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mrs. Samantha Power, which made ​​a stop in Chad´s capital N’Djamena in order to meet Idriss Déby. I dare not think that the French and American governments will let theoption Déby” consolidates in CAR.  Other African Leaders like Denis Sassou Nguesso (Congo), Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon) and Paul Biya (Cameroon) are actively critical against the regional plans of Idriss Déby.

Europe Security News.-Roger-Gerard Schwartzenberg

Europe Security News.-Roger-Gerard Schwartzenberg

In Paris, Roger - Gerard Schwartzenberg -Chairman of the parliamentary group PRG, Radical Left Party,member of the Hollande government coalition-  requested Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to convene an urgent meeting in Matignon (official residence of the PM) with the Presidents of all French political groups represented in the Legislative Assembly Schwartzenberg affirmed that the meeting with the PM must be made with the aim of informing all the parliamentary leaders about the situation in CAR, as the recent call for the UN  by President Hollande realizes the urgency and severity of the crisis in CAR and is a new stage of the French Sangaris” operation, becoming a diplomatic and military issue of high importance.

 If the French President‘s strategy is to put the CAR under the aegis of the African Union AU and the United Nations UN with the objectives of holding democratic elections in the medium term, further ensuring the return of populations to their places of origin, avoiding a greater humanitarian crisis and through the intervention of UN peacekeepers, ensuring tighter security throughout the territory of the CAR, then yes, say that if so, this approach would fit within the new policy of cooperation between France and Africa , so much desired by Paris. Otherwise we‘re going into a situation of stagnation and endless crisis.