Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Looting a way of life for C. Africa’s lost generation  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 10/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) BANGUI, Central African Republic: Deprived of schooling by years of inept leadership, the forsaken youths of the Central African Republic see raiding and plundering as the only career their country has to offer.There are looters among the Seleka rebels, looters among the Christian vigilantes fighting them and “freelance” looters — all vying for the meager spoils of the year-old sectarian conflict.It was already one of the world’s poorest nations before last year’s coup but now the Central African Republic is plundering itself into extinction.Jean-Gabriel Alaba, a computer scientist who lives with his family in the capital Bangui, said it should not come as a surprise that youngsters bite the hands that failed to feed them.“Central Africa has sacrificed the future of its young generation on the altar of political gamesmanship. The future of our children is getting ever darker,” he said.“What is happening now — young people committing massacres, pillaging, raping, stealing — was predictable. It’s because school never gave them anything.”In recent months, scenes of plundering by marauding armed groups or frenzied local youths have been a daily feature in the riverside capital and other cities.It was soon after the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition entered Bangui and toppled then president Francois Bozize in March 2013 that rogue insurgents began looting.In February 2014, nearly a year on, foreign military contingents have moved in and ex-Seleka warlords are on the back foot, but Christian vigilantes have taken over the pillaging.In their wake, loose gaggles of local youths scavenge for unclaimed and often worthless loot, venting their rage by destroying everything they cannot take with them.For some of them, it is the closest thing to a job.“It’s outrageous, Sangaris is preventing us from looting,” an indignant looter told AFP, giving his name only as Benjamin.He was referring to the military operation France launched two months ago. The aim was to prevent its former colony from sinking even deeper into chaos but the violence has continued to escalate.The Central African Republic’s generation of looters is the product of a failing educational system.The list of so-called “blank” academic years that were not completed or declared invalid speaks for itself: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2013.In a country where 40 percent of the 4.6 million inhabitants are under 14, an insolvent school system in ruins has had devastating consequences.The gaps in the academic calendar mirror the endless mutinies, rebellions and coups that have stunted the development of state institutions and kept most of the country in dire poverty.The landlocked nation’s vast mineral reserves have remained largely untapped, and infrastructure is often non-existent. Only around five percent of the population has access to electricity.Even before the turn of the century, successive cash-strapped governments chronically failed to pay salaries to their civil servants, teachers included, leading to strikes that further deprived students of learning time.“Because of the ‘blank years’ of the nineties and political instability of the following decade, all our children are halfwits. They have an unfair handicap,” said Jean Zato, a Bangui carpenter.“All this needs to stop, for Christ’s sake, our children have a lot of catching up to do,” he said.On January 20, the day she was picked as interim president, Catherine Samba Panza stressed that all the fighters and looters should be considered “children” of Central Africa.She replaced Michel Djotodia, the ex-Seleka boss who had been reluctantly accepted by the international community after ousting Bozize but was eventually sidelined by his regional peers when his inability to contain the chaos became evident.The administration is still mostly paralyzed, however, and many schools have yet to reopen.“These days, if you don’t leave the country to study, you don’t stand a chance,” said Emery Danzou, a high school student who has been at loose ends for months.“But not all parents can afford that. We lot, well... we have to live with it,” he said.His friend Arlette Ndetie hopes to join the school exodus. “All my friends have gone abroad, because we just can’t take it here anymore,” she said.“I’m looking hard for a way of getting to Senegal or Benin. Leaving is the only solution.”


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 18 2014 - Qatar Airways to boost Oman's Salalah serviceMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways announced it is planning to add four new services to Salalah, Oman's second largest city, by next February, thus bringing the number of its flights to the city to eight weekly ...

 Dec 18 2014 - Abraaj , Kellogg bidding war intensifies over Egypt's Bisco MisrMENAFN
(MENAFN) The bidding war between UAE's Abraaj Investment Management and Kellogg Co, the breakfast cereal maker, with each company continuously outbidding the other for the acquisition of Egypt's ...

 Dec 18 2014 - UAE's ME Digital Group acquires CoboneMENAFN
(MENAFN) Middle East Digital Group, the online publishing, content and services company and owner of Expatwoman.com, announced it has acquired the online coupon website Cobone in a multi-million ...

 Dec 18 2014 - Dubai's real estate to lead economic growth in 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai's Department of Economic Development said that it expects real estate and construction will likely drive economic growth in 2015, which is expected to grow 4.5 percent next year ...

 Dec 18 2014 - Oman's Orpic to invest USD3.6b on increasing productionMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) announced that its production capacity of polypropylene and polyethylene will increase to 1.4 million tons, when its USD3.6 ...

 Dec 18 2014 - Qatar- HH the Emir, HH the Father Emir Attend National Day Parade -1Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) The parade started with the national anthem and the firing of 18-shot gun to celebrate the National Day, followed by a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. The parade included ...

 Dec 18 2014 - China to become Dubai's largest trading partner in 2014MENAFN
(MENAFN) According to a new study by Invest Dubai, Falcon and Associates, China is set to overtake India to become Dubai's largest trading partner for 2014, Emirates 24/7 reported.The study indicated ...

 Dec 18 2014 - UAE's IHCC wins hospital construction project in AjmanMENAFN
(MENAFN) International Hospitals Construction C. (IHCC) announced it has won a contract to build a 300-bed Saudi German Hospital in Ajman, Gulf News reported.Under the contract, IHCC will oversee the ...

 Dec 18 2014 - Egypt's flag carrier eyes restructuring planMENAFN
(MENAFN) Egypt's national carrier announced that it has signed a deal with Texas-based airline advisory firm Sabre Airline Solutions to help it prepare for a restructuring plan for the state-owned ...

 Dec 18 2014 - Qatar- Summary of Local News Released Wednesday - 1-Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) - HH Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani received cables of congratulations on the state's National Day from leaders and crown princes of fraternal and friendly ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help