A few months ago in this blog, I reported on a nascent ambition among the Central African Republic’s beleaguered Muslims to split away as a separate independent country.
|Governance of the C.A.R., since independence, has swung between different peoples,|
in a country where no ethnicity has a majority.
|The notorious Islamophage “Mad Dog”|
That may be coming. General Mohamed Moussa Dhaffane, a Séléka delegate, said on July 22nd at a multi-party conference on the C.A.R. crisis in Brazzaville, Congo, that the only solution to the nation’s strife that can protect Muslims from pogroms is full independence.
|Abakar Sabone wanted to bring a partition plan back|
from Brazzaville, not another cease-fire
The Brazzaville summit had a more modest result, however. All the participants went home with was a half-hearted cease-fire agreement between Séléka and the Christian–“animist” coalition called the “Anti-Balaka movement.” Left unspecified was how such a cease-fire could be enforced in a country where no one is really in charge. And shortly after the deal was announced, the Séléka leader Major-General Joseph Zoundeiko (pictured above), who had not attended the conference, told the B.B.C. that he rejected its terms and that his followers would not abide by it. He demanded instead the immediate partition of the country.
Some C.A.R. Muslims are saying that a full half of the country should become their new state, reflecting not their share of the population so much as the vast areas Séléka held at the height of the civil war (see map above). Still unresolved, too, is what the new country would be called. The rather uninspiring Republic of Northern Central Africa has been proposed; I suppose Sélékastan is a possibility as well. In April, supporters of the idea were circulating a proposed flag, but I have not yet been able to track down such an image.
|When Séléka fighters do display a flag, it tends to be the C.A.R.’s national flag.|
|No one wants to give Joseph Kony a new lawless zone to move around in.|
[For those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with my forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas. The book, which contains dozens of maps and over 500 flags, is now in the layout phase and should be on shelves, and available on Amazon, by early fall 2014. I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news. Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even though you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook.]