Central African Republic (CAR): Update. Six Chadian peacekeepers were killed on 25 December in Bangui, probably by Christian militias because the Chadians are Muslims.
On the 26th, assailants armed with heavy weapons, according to press reports, attempted to attack the presidential palace in Bangui, but were repulsed by loyal troops.
Some local experts conjectured that the attack was mounted by Christian militiamen who hoped to kill or overthrow the current president, Michel Djotodia – a Muslim and former rebel who overthrew Francois Bozize, the elected Christian president nine months ago.
Comment: Most citizens of CAR are Christians. They are not fighting back against the Muslims who seized power by force last March under Djotodia’s leadership. The African Union peacekeepers are either in the way or are targets because a large number of them are Muslims, such as the Chadians.
The UN has no idea how to deal with this. The Christians are taking back the capital from the Muslim Seleka rebels, led by Djotodia.
Today’s events confirm the judgment that the presence of well-equipped ground forces mounting patrols will have no effect on the violence, and might be making it worse.
Phi Beta Iota: One can only speculate as to how much more effective the UN and the AU would be if they had a real intelligence architecture able to do what the Member states refuse to do — holistic analytics, including cultural and religious intelligence, at all four levels of analysis (strategic, operational, tactical, technical). CAR is on the fault line between Islam to the north and Christianity to the south.