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Two Opposite Arguments on Whether CAR Crisis is a Religious Conflict

Written by Rakotomalala On 17 January 2014 @ 16:58 pm | No Comments

In Breaking News, Central African Republic, Citizen Media, Disaster, English, Ethnicity & Race, French, Human Rights, Humanitarian Response, Media & Journalism, Quick Reads, Sub-Saharan Africa, TYPE, War & Conflict, WORLD

The violent conflict that rocks the Central African Republic (CAR) spurred a debate on whether the conflict turned into an inter-religious conflict and therefore might escalate into a genocide.  Juan Branco, a researcher at Yale law School and a blogger for Rue89, argues that there is no history of such conflict in CAR and therefore, the media is at fault for overhyping this notion [1]  [fr]:

Il n’y a pas de monstres au camp du Kasaï, censé abriter les miliciens les plus sanguinaires d’Afrique centrale. Personne qui ne tienne de discours de haine, même quand on les y pousse. Il y a des chrétiens qui citent des longs extraits de la Bible pour convaincre leurs camarades d’abandonner leurs gris-gris. Des musulmans qui font tant bien que mal une ou deux des cinq prières exigées

   There are no monsters in the camp of Kasai, a camp is supposedly a shelter for the bloodiest Central African militia. No one here is spreading hate speech even when they are edged on to do so. There are Christians who quote extensively from the Bible to convince their comrades to abandon their voodoo charms. There are Muslims who are just trying to go through their praying rituals. 

Florence Lozach is a war reporter that just finished an investigative report on the CAR conflict. She states that media certainly did not invent the growing tension between Christians and Muslims [2] in CAR and that all indications points toward a very worrisome trend [fr]:

Le 5 décembre, vous n’étiez pas là visiblement, M. Branco. La plupart des médias, que vous méprisez aujourd’hui au plus haut point, étaient là, eux, dans les rues, puis dans la mosquée Ali Babolo, puis à nouveau dans les rues. Les propos ont changé ce jour-là. Avec plus de 500 morts dans les rues, le discours a penché puis complètement chuté dans la haine chrétiens-musulmans.

On December 5, evidently you were not here (in Bangui) Mr. Branco. Most of the media that you despise so much today were here, in the streets, and then in the Ali Babolo mosque and then again, in the streets. The words that were used have changed that day. With over 500 dead people in the streets, the words we heard turned into hate speech between people of Christian and Muslim faith.


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URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/01/17/two-opposite-arguments-on-whether-car-crisis-is-a-religious-conflict/

URLs in this post:

[1] media is at fault for overhyping this notion: http://rue89.nouvelobs.com/2014/01/14/centrafrique-ils-dont-devenus-tueurs-monstres-249005

[2] did not invent the growing tension between Christians and Muslims: http://rue89.nouvelobs.com/2014/01/16/bangui-les-medias-nont-invente-haine-chretiens-musulmans-249089

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