Down with the French military interventions in the Central African Republic!
Down with French imperialism!
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 10; Winter-Spring 2014)
In mid-December the French government decided to send several hundred soldiers into the Central African Republic: officially 1600 (in addition to the hundreds there already) for a limited time, again officially, of 6 months. The big bourgeois daily Le Monde says that it’s «a white lie intended to spare a public opinion which shows little concern» (1); but experience has sufficiently demonstrated that lies, «pious» or «white» or otherwise, always accompany imperialist interventions. We have yet another disgusting example in this military operation.
According to the French President Hollande, France has no interest in the Central African Republic (CAR), and it is only sending troops to save human lives. Arguing in favor of the military expedition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fabius invoked the imminent danger of «genocide» (socialist ministers are well placed to talk about genocide as under the «cohabitation» government of Mitterrand – Chirac (1986-1988) French imperialism was guilty of active complicity in the Rwandan genocide), and it is under this rationale that the security Council of the United Nations passed a resolution submitted by the French Government to justify military action (2). But according to the media, French soldiers have been preparing their operation for nearly four months!
Actually French imperialism has real interests in CAR. It is not us saying this, but the Left Party: more frank than Hollande or Fabius, the leader of this supposedly left-wing opposition party, said that military intervention is «legitimate» because «the government would not intervene if national interests were not at stake. In this case in particular it is uranium» (3)…
Almost as large as France but with less than 5 million inhabitants, the CAR is mainly an agricultural country whose population is among the poorest in the world. Yet it contains undeniable riches, even if they are not always exploited, due as much to being landlocked as by the lack of Capital. Besides diamonds (the scandal caused by «Emperor» Bokassa offering diamonds to French president Giscard d’Estaing contributed to the fall of the latter) and tropical timber exploited by French companies, the CAR has deposits of copper and uranium which are not yet really exploited (the French company Areva postponed the opening of operations of its Bakouma mine due to lower uranium prices on the world market). It also has oil fields: the grant of an exploration license to a Chinese company by the previous government is sometimes cited as one of the causes of the breakdown of relations between French imperialism, concerned about the Chinese push in the country, with the Bozizé government.
But perhaps more important is the country’s strategic location in the heart of Africa, which had been the reason for its colonization by France in the nineteenth century: bordering Congo, Chad, Sudan and Cameroon, a Central Africa plagued by serious problems posed a threat to the already weakened countries of West Africa where French imperialism had its most important economic interests.
That is why since its legal independence in 1960, the CAR has never ceased being under political and economic domination of French imperialism which was constantly involved in domestic politics.
Without telling all the story of this domination during the past half century, it should be pointed out that the French imperialists, after having supported the Bokassa regime, up to and including his megalomaniac phase, overthrew him in 1979 after he expressed some vague desires for independence; They re-installed Dacko (the first president of Central African Republic, who had been overthrown by Bokassa) in his place: he arrived in the same military plane as French troops... From that moment, during the Mitterrand period in the 1980’s and until the early 1990’s, the real ruler of the Central African Republic was colonel Mansion, of the French Secret Services!
At the beginning of the 90’s, the French imperialists concocted the “democratic” coming to power of Patassé, including intervening militarily to defend him (1996).
In 2003 they backed the coup of general Bozizé (whose highest armed achievement was the massacre of dozens of students in 1979); French troops (including the air force and paratroopers) intervened on several occasions to maintain his power against recurrent rebellions. An African «peacekeeping» force and French soldiers settled in Bangui; obviously imperialism had no problem with a brutal and corrupt regime: brutality and corruption are necessary for imperialist plunder!
But clashes between Bozize and French imperialist interests had occurred lately, to the point that, shortly after his election, Hollande said, after the creation of the Séléka rebel force, that the French soldiers would not defend the Bozizé regime. However in December 2012, while Séléka forces, near the capital, were arrested by Chadian soldiers of the African «peacekeeping» force, hundreds of French soldiers landed an emergency force in Bangui, ostensibly to ensure the safety of French nationals in the area; but as a matter of fact the French imperialist wanted to increase pressure on Bozizé and his regime. An agreement was reached to form an interim government and Bozizé promised to relinquish power.
But a few weeks later, Bozizé reneged on his promises: he thought himself sufficiently strengthened by the arrival of soldiers sent by South Africa (South Africa is enticed by the mineral resources of the country and burning to take the place of the old colonial imperialisms). But rapacious French imperialism had not said its last word; Séléka troops resumed the offensive without being arrested by France’s Chadian allies, inflicting a crushing defeat on the South African soldiers while Bozizé succeeded in escaping. Upon entering Bangui, the Séléka insurgents asked the French soldiers to help «secure» the capital; but it would have been a too obvious recognition of collusion with Séléka, and the French military were content to let things be. But in a few months the heterodox forces comprising Séléka seized autonomy subjecting the country to its harsh economic regimen and their exactions caused the exasperation of a growing sector of the population. The situation became more and more explosive and French imperialism finally decided to intervene...
Therefore sending soldiers is absolutely not motivated by the desire to save lives, as pretended by the French Communist Party which approved this intervention in the name of the «protection of civilians» (4): French imperialism has demonstrated to the blindest that its repeated interventions in Central Africa during the past half-century were motivated exclusively by sordid economic and geopolitical interests! Its domination over this African country, as elsewhere, has brought nothing but suffering, blood and misery to the populace; in marked contrast it has filled the coffers of the capitalist sharks and companies that plunder the continent. But there are none so blind as those who will not see: the left parties outside the government such as the PCF and the Left Party are equally pro-imperialist as the Socialist Party in power! Massacres in Central Africa have increased since the beginning of the French military intervention, and scenes of lynching have taken place without French soldiers intervening...
Despite the veritable union nationale which has formed around this intervention, the bourgeois politicians left or right can’t help but see that it is unpopular among the population in general and the workers in particular: exposed to capitalist economic attacks here, they are hardly prepared to support capitalist military attacks abroad !
The proletarians of the advanced capitalist metropoles have no interest in supporting the imperialist actions of their exploiters; they have total interest in opposing it because the capitalists find in imperialist plunder the ways and means to reinforce and strengthen their exploitation: a people which exploits another cannot free itself, Marx said a long time ago. The solidarity with the people and the proletariat oppressed by imperialism, the struggle against all the crimes of imperialism, opposition to all military interventions – which always disguised under peaceful pretexts – is not a humanitarian or democratic duty, it is a necessity of the proletarian class struggle!
The anti-capitalist struggle here in the metropoles is the only way to bring real help to the oppressed and exploited masses of Central Africa and elsewhere in weakening, before having the strength to destroy it, the multi-tentacled imperialist monster which is strangling them.
Down with imperialist intervention in the Central African Republic! Down with French imperialism!
For the resumption of anti- capitalist struggle! For reconstitution of the international class party, leading and centralizing the proletarian struggle towards world communist revolution!
(1) Le Monde, 12/19/13
(2) see: http:// www. lepartide gauche.fr/ actualites/ edito/ la-centrafrique-l-armorique-26204
(3) Due to economic difficulties, the government seeks help from its European, U.S. and UN imperialist «partners». But they show no enthusiasm to grant aid, financial or otherwise, to help French imperialism to maintain its turf...
(4) Statement by the PCF in parliament, December 10th see: http:// www. communistes- republicains- partide gauche.assemblee- nationale.fr/ expressions/ intervention-en-centrafrique
International Communist Party