Saturday, March 30, 2013

What Happened In Bangui?

Something just does not sound right about the narrative we are being told about what happened in the Central African Republic. We are told the SA unit faced 3000 attackers and they killed hundreds of attackers. They themselves suffered 13 deaths and 46 injured.

Unfortunately evidence of dead rebels is only coming from the SA government and nowhere else. If hundreds of rebels were killed, common sense dictates that an even higher number would have been injured. Therefore it is simple logic that hospitals in Bangui would have been overwhelmed with casualties. Organisations such as Medicins Sans Frontiers and the Red Cross would have been reporting and issuing statistics on these casualties.

So far all I have heard from these organisations is them complaining that their clinics have been looted just like other businesses around Bangui. Surely they would not have forgotten to mention a high number of casualties, if looting was affecting their ability to treat such casualties.

There has also been claims that a South African soldier was taken aside and shown a warehouse 'stacked to the ceiling' with dead bodies. The insinuation was that they were all victims of South Africa's fighting prowess.

Again the odd thing is that apart from the South African government nobody else is talking about stacks of dead bodies. Certainly not the Red Cross, Medicins Sans Frontiers nor the French who also have boots on the ground.

Maybe I was missing something, I thought, so I went and googled 'Central African Republic casualties'. Both Google Search and Google News came up with long lists of links all of them about the South African casualties, a couple about an Indian who was accidentally shot by the French.

None of them was about casualties on the rebel or even the CAR government side. Could it be that there were no casualties when the rebel and government forces fought each other?

This seems odd. However if you take three other facts into consideration things begin to make sense a little bit.

1. Bozize was helped to escape by South Africa soldiers which suggests that they, not CAR army units, were providing his security.

2. Some SA soldiers have claimed that the first shots at them were fired by CAR army units and not rebels. This suggests that the CAR army could have been part of the rebellion.

3. CAR army generals and police chiefs have already declared allegiance to the rebel leader. These are not the actions of people who were passionate about defending Bozize or those helping prop up Bozize.

This suggests that the so called CAR army either did not put up a fight or were already on the rebels side, leaving the South Africans with the short end of the very short stick propping up Bozize. There is a distinct possibility that this was a fight of all sides in CAR versus outsiders propping up Bozize. That would also explain the absence of any meaningful independently verified casualties on both sides of the CAR conflict. They did not really fight each other.

This leaves one wondering, was South Africa trying its hand at imperialism? What were they doing, propping up a man whose very own army could not be trusted to be loyal to him. We definitely can't say they were defending democracy because Bozize was not a democrat. He seized power violently.

Read Here

Central African Republic: Situation in hospitals catastrophic

"The corridors in the Community Hospital of Bangui are overflowing with injured people. The doctors and nurses can no longer cope with emergencies," said Dr Bonaventure Bazirutwabo of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) after visiting the hospital. "The situation is catastrophic. The wounded are taking up every available space in the hospital, and the sick cannot be treated."
Nearly 200 people wounded in clashes have been admitted to the city's main hospitals, including around 40 who are still awaiting emergency surgery. The hospitals, like the entire city, are currently without running water and a continuous supply of electric power; soon they will also be without fuel. Because they do not have adequate stocks of medicines, the main hospitals in Bangui can no longer admit new patients. The ICRC has delivered 150 litres of fuel to the Community Hospital, the city's main medical centre, for its generator.
"It remains difficult for us to move about safely within the city," said Georgios Georgantas, head of the ICRC delegation in Bangui. "Looting is unfortunately still going on. We are determined to bring aid without delay to everyone who needs it, including the injured and medical personnel. We are doing everything we can to achieve this aim despite the current situation."
Central African Red Cross Society volunteers have assisted nearly 400 people by providing them with first aid or, in the most serious cases, by taking them to medical facilities. Today they are helping to manage mortal remains at the mortuary and in the city's neighbourhoods, and to bury them. The ICRC is supporting their efforts by providing them with first-aid supplies, fuel and disinfectant.

Central African Republic: Bodies Found in the Capital

Volunteers have collected 78 bodies from the streets of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, since rebel fighters seized control of the city last week, the Central African Red Cross reported Friday. Many of the bodies lacked identification documents, a Red Cross official told Agence France-Presse, and other medical officials said it was not immediately clear whether the dead were rebels, government soldiers, foreign soldiers or civilians. Hospitals in the capital are overflowing with rebels and others wounded in the fighting, above, officials said. A loose coalition of armed groups from the country’s northeast ousted President François Bozizé on Sunday; the rebels, who are reported to have child soldiers among their ranks, accused Mr. Bozizé of breaching the terms of a January peace deal. He first fled to Cameroon but has since requested refuge in Benin, news reports said Friday.

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