Uranium and dictatorship in the Central African Republic

18 February 2011

By Juliette Abandokwe

The Central African Republic lies in the heart of Africa. But nobody sees anything of what is going on there, and nobody hears the cries of the impoverished and poorest people in Africa.


1.6 million internally displaced people out of less than 4 million inhabitants have been fleeing the effects of everlasting internal conflicts, trapped between rebel groups and government troops, as well as high levels of institutionalized zaraguina banditry. President Bozizé basically has absolutely no control over the national territory, and is just sitting on his war booty in Bangui, virtually shooting at anybody who dares to threaten his position. The capital and its surrounding have been turned into a vast bunker, and when you go there, you get the impression that the country’s boundary is what you see fiercely guarded around Bangui

The entire international community, represented by various UN agencies as well as western embassies, witness widespread misery and gross human rights abuses on a daily basis, as well as extreme levels of corruption and systematic looting of the nations’s national treasury and natural resources by the ruling clan.

General François Bozizé, an intellectually frustrated puppet, with a very limited state of mind, has been ruling the country since he took over by a coup d’état in march 2003. Crossing the country from Chad where he had been exiled, letting his troops loot, rape and massacre local populations, he was supported by his Chadian counterpart, Idriss Deby, himself a bloodthirsty criminal, that has been ruling over Chad for 21 years with his entire family and zaghawa tribe in all government positions. The omnipotent France, that has been looting the whole of francophone Africa for the last fifty years, after having conceded some vague fake independence treaties to its former colonies, has been militarily and logistically supporting the warrants of its oil fields in Chad, as well as in particular its uranium fields in Central African Republic.

The exceptionally good quality uranium in the Bakouma area, is being extracted by AREVA since 2007, and although the acquisition contract clauses with the former extraction company URAMIN of Canada made Bozizé rather unhappy at the time, the profit for him and his family is such that he cannot even dream of the intention to leave power or even share it.
Allegations of massive radioactive contamination have not been the slightest in the political agenda, nor of Government, nor of AREVA, although it is threatening the lives of thousands of local people. Bozizé’s nephew, Sylvain Ndoutingaï, is Minister of mining, and his older son, Francis Bozizé, is Minister of defense. Most of the other government ministries are occupied by his clan members and friends

After the several times postponed elections of 23rd January 2011, Bozizé allegedly won with over 66% of the votes, having massively rigged the election. The international and local observers witnessed major frauds before the polling stations even opened. Widespread military intimidation was overwhelmingly pressurizing an already highly terrorized population during the whole election period. The international electoral committee was manipulated before and during the counting, with the military entering the premices and terrorizing its suspiciously non-compliant members. The opposition leaders, namely Patassé, Ziguélé and Nakombo, refused the results even before they were declared. The Constitutional Court later annulled the request of the cancellation of the election results made by the coalition of opposition leaders.

The international community, particularly France and the United Nations, who played a very drastically interfering part in the western interest rich Ivory Coast’s recent crisis, have not uttered a word since the results have been declared in Bangui, although it is totally obvious that the result has absolutely nothing to do with what the people of the Central African Republic want.

Even considering the global illegitimacy of the election procedure, everything seems to indicate that François Bozizé is being implicitly accepted by the international community as the country’s president for another five years. The powerless living conditions of the people will therefore continue to creep among the lowest figures of the world develop index statistics, while western powers continue to pour millions of dollars into bottomless aid projects, for which no convincing accounts are being requested. Aid and humanitarian intervention in the Central African Republic has thus turned into a major and very expensive alibi, to cover-up for much more lucrative businesses, i.e. diamond, gold, and other valuable mineral trafficking.

The cover-up of a blood-thirsty and very nasty regime should be considered as sheer crime against humanity, with the complicity and selective blindness regarding systematic deprivation of basic human rights for the people. As well as the responsibility of donors, corporate responsibility should also be officially and internationally questioned in the Central African Republic, where multinational mining companies such as AREVA are obviously very closely involved with the benefits of a totally rigged election.











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