May 1, 2014

Where Hell Is an Understatement

Graeme Wood, The New Republic

The Associated Press

If the conflict in CAR were as simple as shooting dead all the people running around with freshly hewn human limbs, the Rwandans might actually be able to keep things under control. But CAR’s history has encouraged all manner of grudges to fester, and the war has a whole separate front—between the Rwandans and the 2,000 French peacekeepers also in Bangui. The French call their mission Operation Sangaris, after Cymothoe sangaris—a species of Central African butterfly that lives only briefly—to symbolize the intended light touch and short duration of the French intervention. Another less-noted characteristic of C. sangaris is that its males spend an inordinate amount of time in internecine combat, and sure enough, the peacekeeper-to-peacekeeper relations are...

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TAGGED: Africa, Central African Republic, Bangui

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